The Secret Ingredient: A Shakeout Run

You can include some light stretching in your shakeout run the morning of your race. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Benefits Of A Shakeout Run

Neuromuscular Stimulation And Blood Flow
The most important benefit of the shakeout run is that it stimulates your central nervous system and gets blood flowing to the muscles to help loosen them up. It takes several hours to get your body temperature up and to increase flexibility. The shakeout run gets this process jump started much earlier.

Wakes You Up
Similarly, a shakeout run helps the body wake up so you don’t hit the starting line drowsy, yawning, and unenthusiastic about running hard. More than likely, you’ll be waking early to get to the starting line on time and a shakeout run is the perfect way to shake off the morning cobwebs.

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Calms The Nerves
Shakeout runs are a fantastic way to calm your pre-race nerves. With months of hard work on the line, sometimes you wake up on race morning with the thought “what if my legs no longer work” — trust me, we all have those nightmares about running in Jello on the big day.

Not only will you reassure yourself that the legs work, but you’ll have 10 blissful minutes in the quiet morning stillness to collect your thoughts, relax, and refocus your nerves into positive mental imagery. The starting line is going to be a tangle of nerves, sights and sounds that can almost take your breath away. Use the shakeout run to reconnect with your inner self.

Helps You Use The Bathroom
All runners worry about using the bathroom on race morning. Bathroom lines can get pretty long near the start, so emptying your bladder before you leave for the race is a major benefit. Think about how many early morning runs you’ve started only to have to go to the bathroom just 15 minutes in. A shakeout run helps get the systems going in the morning and can prevent those numerous trips to the port-o-john line.

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