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Dr. Amen's Top Tips for Race Day


With The Daniel Plan Fun Walk & Run, we want you to have fun, enjoy the outdoors, and get some exercise with others. But walking or running a 5K or 10K (3.1, 6.2 miles) can present a decent challenge for most people. Here are a few tips so you can enjoy your morning on June 11:

  1. Sleep. Plan ahead to get enough rest. The race starts early in the morning, so plan your day to be asleep early.
  2. Hydration. Stay away from anything that would dehydrate you, like coffee, or drinking alcohol the night before. Drink 16 oz of water about an hour before the race. Drinking water during the race doesn't help keep your body hydrated. Then, drink water -- or preferably -- coconut water after the race.
  3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. Don't stray too far away from what you would normally eat. Be sure to include protein, perhaps a protein-fruit smoothie, or egg omelette with vegetables. Check the "Healthy Habits" tab for recipes.
  4. Stretch. Warm up before the race with a 1-minute walk and stretch your hamstrings, calfs, quadriceps and lower back. When stretching, don't bounce. Just reach and relax and hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Then after the race, do a cool-down stretch.
  5. Take Fish Oil (omega 3 fatty acid). Your joints won't hurt as much, before, during and after the race. My NFL study of former football players show their pain medications decrease, when they take fish oil.
  6. Avoid Over-Exertion. Don't try to be macho and do more than you are presently able. Remember the "18-40-64 Rule:"
    • 18: When you're 18 years-old, you worry about what everyone thinks about you.
    • 40: When you turn 40, you don't care what others think about you.
    • 60: At 60 years-old, you realize nobody is thinking about you at all.
  7. Don't Give Yourself Permission to Ruin the Exercise. What I mean is this, just because you've walked 3 miles, doesn't mean you can go to Farrell's for ice cream or to Cinnabon, or drink a 700-calorie latte.