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December 24, 2014

Turkey Trot Do’s and Don’ts

Written by Dena Evans

imagesThanksgiving Day has quickly become the single biggest day for road racing in America, outstripping runner-up July 4 by several hundred thousand participants.  According to industry organization Running USA, over 800,000 people participated in a Turkey Trot in 2012, with that number sure to rise.  With so many of us out walking and running this Thursday, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your Trot experience.

 

DO make it a family affair

There are few better chances to have your family participate in what may typically be seen as “your weird distance habit.”  Extended families are often together on Thanksgiving morning, and a multigenerational activity appeals to all.  With a morning start, a family Turkey Trot leaves plenty of time for food prep, football viewing and gratuitous consumption.  Light hearted family peer pressure can ease a reluctant exerciser through the threshold and even give them a goal for next year’s Thanksgiving holiday, while having a family group along eases your stress for bailing out and “missing out” while getting in your workout or race solo.  With kids races abounding, the little ones can get the wiggles out as well.

 

DON’T take yourself too seriously

Turkey Trots come on a Thursday, often after hectic travel and a scramble to get out of town at work and at home.  You might have even gone to the local watering hole on Wednesday night to convene with your high school friends.  While it is a great idea to get a workout in on a Thursday and give it a go, you might not be in an optimal condition for a personal best effort.  Keep it fun, think family first, wear a costume, get your heart rate up, but don’t sweat the outcome.

 

DO include service in your Trotting

Another great motivator for participating in a Turkey Trot and bringing others is the chance to incorporate service into the outing.  Many trots include opportunities to donate canned goods or other items for local families in need.  Even if not, the race may benefit a local organization for which the donation of a race entry or other contribution may make a big difference.  Turkey Trots can be a great way to visibly demonstrate your thankfulness for health, a roof over your head, food on the table to look forward to and other blessings.  Any way to pass it forward to others offers an opportunity to highlight your attitude of gratitude, even if that means visiting a soup kitchen or other volunteer effort as a group following the race.

 

DO enjoy the benefits of getting in workout before all that food

Even if you just feel a bit better tucking into an overflowing plate now that you have already gotten in a few miles that morning, setting the pattern of incorporating regular exercise and prioritizing it can help you navigate the tricky world of a holiday season that seems to encourage overindulgences around every corner.  Set the tone and follow through so you arrive at the new year without a big hole out of which to dig.

 

DON’T forget to adjust your schedule

Make sure you include your racing in your runcoach training calendar as well as on your Goals and Results feed, so we can make sure you have the proper spacing between this effort and your next challenging tasks.  Because a Thursday race is a rarity, your training rhythm may be a bit off from usual for the next several days.  Stay healthy and on track by making sure your schedule has all the information it needs to help you look back on your Turkey Trot effort as a positive day.

 

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