A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Running back to back races: How did it go? (Plus a cookbook winner!)

on January 22, 2015

One of the things I was most worried about was the idea of running races two days in a row. My training plan was set up to practice putting all of those miles on my feet, but I was a little worried about how it would play out in the real world. I know some of you are doing the Glass Slipper Challenge next month, which will also include a 10K and a half marathon, so I thought I’d run through some of the things that I did well and some I did not so well for the Rebel Challenge.

Oliver sent his dinosaur (also named Oliver) to help me get to sleep at night.

Oliver sent his dinosaur (also named Oliver) to help me get to sleep at night.

Good: Early to bed! Friday and Saturday nights I was in bed by 8 pm and asleep not long after. Getting off my feet early and getting some sleep (as much as you can with race excitement anyway) was hugely helpful. Saturday, between the 10K and half marathon, I actually got in bed at 7 pm. This issue is one of the reasons I decided to tackle the back to back challenge on a solo trip, where no one else needed to plan around my early bedtimes or wake ups. If you’ve got travel partners who don’t need your crazy schedule, work with them to come up with a way you can get in bed early! This will be especially true with the Florida races, which start even earlier. I think getting to bed early saved me from the thing I did “wrong”:

Bad: Too much park walking! I should have known this would be an issue. I had three days of park tickets and a park I’d never been to, so of course I was going to explore them all! I ended up with 20K steps every day I was in California, which is way too much park walking for someone doing too races. I think the early-to-bed is the only thing that saved me from being utterly miserable, but I will say that my poor feet definitely had that week-at-Disney feeling by 4 pm on Saturday. 😦

How could I resist an opportunity to get pictures like this?

How could I resist an opportunity to get pictures like this?

Good: Great hydration! I drank water with Nuun throughout the day all 4 days in California, which is key for me because I’m a super salty sweater (I was crusty after the half!). It’s so much better to go into the races with your cells all tanked up rather than trying to play catch up, especially since it’s so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of a Disney race and forget things like drinking and fueling on the run. Speaking of which . . .

Bad: Not fueling on the run like I’d planned. Everything I’d read about back to back races like this warned that you’d need to be more aggressive about fueling on the run to be sure you didn’t exhaust your glycogen stores by tapping them two days in a row. I got so distracted and was having so much fun that I definitely do this like I’d practicing, using nothing in the 10K and two gels in the half marathon (less than I use for a half marathon that isn’t back to back!). This didn’t seem to throw me off too much, thankfully, but I think that’s because I was really good about POST race fueling.

Good: Focusing post race fuel on carbohydrates and protein to recover! I’m not always great about refueling immediately after a run because I’m usually not hungry at that point (a few hours later, starving to death, but not in that immediate window of optimal recovery). This time, being cognizant of the fact that I hadn’t used my gels like I’d planned, I was sure to immediately eat that hard-earned banana, drink the Powerade and eat the LaraBar in the little RunDisney food box we got after the race. I think that, along with good food choices throughout the rest of the day, saved me from this particular mistake.

My hard earned, Star Wars themed, snack box. :)

My hard earned, Star Wars themed, snack box. πŸ™‚

Bad: Trying something new between races. As much as you feel like you’ve earned it, save your treat for AFTER the back to back races, not between them, especially if it is something you don’t normally eat. I’m not sure why I thought it would be okay for a lactose intolerant girl who hasn’t had ice cream in a couple of years to try it in the middle of a back-to-back race challenge.

Good: Support your legs between races. I actually wore my compression socks after my park days Thursday and Friday, as well as between the races, which was a huge help given all of the park walking I did. I also had my travel yoga mat and Stick and made sure to stretch and roll things out each night, as well as some time in the bath after Saturday’s race (a warm bath in the evening to loosen things up, not an ice bath immediately after even though I know some are brave enough for that!).

These were hard working legs over the weekend!

These were hard working legs over the weekend!

With all of this, plus flying back Sunday night after the race, my legs actually felt pretty good on Monday. The first couple of steps were stiff, but no more so than after any other long run. If you train for it and keep recovery in mind throughout the race weekend, back to back races like this can be a fun challenge. It was totally worth the extra bling and I’d definitely do it again. πŸ™‚

Also today, we have a winner of our Southern Living Super Fast Southern cookbook. The random number generator chose comment number 7, so Farrah, email me at littlemoreeachday@gmail.com with your mailing address and I’ll have the publisher get the book out to you.

What are your tips for back to back race challenges?


8 responses to “Running back to back races: How did it go? (Plus a cookbook winner!)

  1. golddh says:

    All in all sounds pretty good to me. Well done.

  2. Great tips! I know an ice bath and compression gear saves me every time!

  3. Kristin says:

    Love that picture of you and Captain America!!! Adorbs!!! XOXO

    • He was so sweet. πŸ™‚ I told him about O (we use “what would Captain America do” as a way to rein in bad behavior) and he wanted to know when he would get to meet Oliver himself.

      On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 4:46 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:


  4. […] and a stepper hill than I remembered, but it felt good to move a bit again. Thanks to my efforts in recovery for the back to back runs, my legs already felt back to […]

  5. […] – Running back to back races: How did it go? […]

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