Saturday saw The Ultimate Extreme Ultra .1k 2016 come and go.  Thanks to everyone who came out to push their bodies to the limit for a great cause, Hospice of Southwest Michigan.

If you missed this year's race, it's never too early to start training for next year, and I have five tips on how to prepare and execute a perfect .1k.

1) Gather your team

Coworkers? Old school mates? Members of your softball team? A running buddy will help keep you focused through all 328 feet of the race. However you want to prepare and train is up to you.  Remember to push yourself, but don't hurt yourself.

 

Photo by Janet Gover

 

2) Hydration is key

About an hour or so before the race, you really want to make sure that you're hydrated. This can be accomplished at any of the watering holes within walking distance of Bronson Park. This year we chose The Union; mimosas and bloody marys, for a boost of vitamins C and K. Just be careful not to get over-hydrated; hyponatremia seems to be a very common problem among runners.

3) Boost the Special Friends

Once you feel properly hydrated, it's time to head to the park and get a good spot on both sides of the course. The Special Friends race, young adults who benefit from Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, is the first heat, and they need your support to finish the race. After all, that's what the .1k is all about.

4) The race is on!

Once the Special Friends have completed the race, it's your turn, so grab your team and line up. My team prefers being last for a few reasons.  1) We can take a sweet start-of-the-race selfie:

Photo by Eric Dirst

...and 2) we can run, jog, skip it at our own pace.  Which is important for inexperienced runners like myself.

 

5) You survived. Now what?

At the end of the .1k you are going to feel exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry. It's important to keep moving, so my suggestion is to walk (at your own pace) to Taco Bob's and carb/protein load. Your muscles are going to start the healing process and soreness and stiffness are inevitable, so make sure you take down a margarita for a hydration/pain tolerance double whammy.

 

This year's race may be over, but the .1k truly is a fun event for a very good cause. Your registration fee/donation means so much to the men and women who benefit from Hospice Care. Consider training now for next year's run!