So you’ve signed up for your local turkey trot…Congrats!

Whether it’s your first race or a regular tradition, turkey trots are a fun way to sneak in a sweat before indulging in some holiday treats.

So, in the spirit of helping our readers score some race day prep, we checked in with team TYR superstars Sarah True, Andy Potts and Lauren Goss. As professional triathletes, they certainly know a thing or two about crushing a run.

So what are their tips for crossing the finish line? Read on below.

Tip 1: Think of the Race as a Group Experience

ST: In my opinion what makes a turkey trot so much fun is the sense of camaraderie it creates within a community. I’d recommend roping some family members or friends into signing up with you so that you can motivate each other to train leading up to the big day. Once you’ve completed the race you’ll have a shared sense of accomplishment, and maybe, some stories to tell over the dinner table.

Tip 2: Be Prepared 

AP: When it comes to preparation, start small. Begin with a mild enough pace where you’ll be excited to run again the next day, rather than overcooking yourself the first time out. Then build from there. Each day try to add 2-3 minutes of running to your workout, gradually allowing your muscles to adapt. Also, always remember to stretch post run. Key muscles to focus on are typically the ones located in your posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, IT bands and lower back).  However, if you’ve got tight quads, definitely stretch those out as well.

LG: Set yourself up for success by preparing your body to race. A week or even the Monday before the race head to your local track. Start with a 10 minute warm up jog. Next, complete 8x400m on the track at your goal race pace with 30 seconds rest in between. Finally, finish up with a 10 minute cool down.

Tip 3: Pace Yourself

ST: Having done a few turkey trots throughout the years, I’ve noticed a pretty familiar pattern with participants. Often times runners will start out fast only to burn out a few miles down the road. My tip is to keep your excitement in check and to run at a comfortable pace for you. It’s easy to start fast, but in my opinion you pay for that effort later. Instead, try to build your effort as you gain distance, rather than the other way around.

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