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Use these workouts as a tune-up before your next race

Three Mile2Marathon coaches offer their preferred workouts to get athletes ready for race day

When you’re only a few days out from your goal race, it’s hard to know exactly what to do. You don’t want to do anything too strenuous and risk being tired or beat up on the start line, but you also don’t want to feel sluggish on race day from too much rest. To help you out, check out these pre-race tune-up workouts from Mile2Marathon coaches Lauren Andrews, Mathew Travaglini and Bridget Pyke to make sure you feel fresh and ready to go when you get to the start line.

RELATED: Try these two workouts to test your fitness ahead of your goal race

The pre-10K workout

Andrews notes that the workout you do ahead of your goal race will vary depending on the distance you’re preparing for, but regardless, it’s not meant to improve your fitness, but rather to be a final setup of your brain-body connection for the pace and cadence. Here’s her preferred 10K race tune-up:

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by drills and strides

Workout: 6 x 1km at 10K goal pace with two minutes rest between intervals.

Cooldown: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching.

Descending intervals

Travaglini likes to have his athletes perform a set of intervals that start out longer and slower, and gradually get shorter and faster. He says the goal is to run these quickly, but not to have to try hard. “We all know the feeling of when we go over the line in a workout, and it becomes hard from that point on,” he explains. “This workout should feel smooth and fast.”

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by drills and strides

Workout: 1km at goal race pace; 800m a bit quicker than goal pace; 400m fast but relaxed; 3x200m fast. The rest should be equal to the interval that preceded it, so if you ran your 1 kilometre interval in five minutes, you take five minutes rest, etc.

Cooldown: 10-15minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching.

Long and short intervals

Pyke likes to have athletes do a couple of intervals at their goal race pace to get the feel of the pace in their legs, then finish with shorter, faster intervals to feel sharp and fast. She emphasizes this workout is meant to prime, but not overly tax the system. Here is an example of a pre-5K race tune-up workout:

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy jog, followed by drills and strides

Workout: 2 x 1km at goal pace with 2-3 minutes rest; 4 x 200m faster than goal pace with 2 minutes rest.

Cooldown: easy 10-15 minute jog, followed by light stretching.

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