With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it is a time of year to be with family and friends while giving thanks. That, and time for every town across the country to host a Turkey Trot. Fields typically host a wide range, from first-timers to crafty vets, all intent on making the most of their pre-meal outing. Check out the tips from the pros below, and make this year’s Trot your best one yet!
Here’s my tips for all you Turkey Trotters and Drumstick Dashers:
- As the day is all about gratitude, try to find a race that has some sort of charitable giving component. I run the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5K each year, and they collect funds and tons of food for Second Harvest Heartland! If you’re blessed to get out the door and run on Thanksgiving morning, then share the wealth with people who need it!
- I know you’re prepping to feast later in the day, but make sure you eat a good pre-race breakfast just as you would for any other race. None of this “I’m saving room for turkey!” business to screw up your fueling!!
- To all my hearty midwestern friends, be prepared for ANYTHING, weather-wise. I’ve raced in shorts, and as pictured below, I’ve made eye-cicles out on the Turkey Day 5K course. The good news is if you bring along someone you love to share the experience, it feels a little warmer in your heart (insert cheesy ‘awww’ here 😉
Heather’s Turkey Trot Pick: The ASICS Thermal Protection Headwarmer
|Purchase the ASICS Thermal Protection Headwarmer on Running Warehouse|
- Don’t get too caught up in running a specific time. It’s a Holiday Fun run after all, enjoy the moment and chow down afterwards! Run hard enough to say you’ve earned the calories you will indulge in later on.
- Don’t “Turkey” a race. In case you’ve never heard of that term, it’s when someone jumps into a thanksgiving day race, doesn’t pay or register, takes advantage of the fuel stations and drinks etc. This hurts your local running community and also keep in mind many races on Thanksgiving Day raise funds to help the less fortunate receive holiday gifts and food during the Holidays.
Joseph’s thumbnail photo courtesy of Greg Sheehan
Joseph’s Turkey Trot Pick: The Merrell Agility Peak
|Purchase the Merrell Agility Peak on Running Warehouse
Men’s | Women’s
Your local Turkey Trot can be a great way to jumpstart a rather indulgent day of eating with some exercise, but can also be a low-key way to get in a workout and have fun at the same time! A lot of beginner runners or those who don’t run very often tend to jump into Turkey Trots on a whim, so my advice to these runners is to pace yourself and take it slow; starting at an easier pace than you think you need to for the whole run is a good place to start. For more experienced runners, a turkey trot can be a fun and low-key way to get that workout in while participating in a community event! Turkey Trots are typically not viewed as really serious races, so it’s also a no-pressure way to practice more-pressured mental mindset that is present for bigger events. Or, just run it strictly for fun, as a fun run before you get back to your more serious training regimen.
My advice for the holiday from a health perspective is that you should indulge – within reason! Most of us stick to a pretty strict diet during the competitive year, but you need some balance in your diet as well. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to indulge a bit with family and friends. If you want to have some pumpkin pie, have a couple of slices of pumpkin pie – but maybe just not 3 or 4… If you want to have some gravy with your turkey, have a ladleful of gravy, but maybe just not the whole pot! I think balance is the key to enjoying Thanksgiving and not feeling like you’ve derailed your training completely. And if you’ve gotten in some morning miles with your Turkey Trot, all the more reason to celebrate the decision you’ve made to lead an active lifestyle.
Feel like Lauren is speaking to you through this post? She can also speak to you directly as your coach! Check her out at Elite Sports Performance.
Lauren’s Turkey Trot Pick: The Brooks Levitate
|Purchase the Brooks Levitate on Running Warehouse
Men’s | Women’s
Pro Tip : Pay Attention to the Weather. Being prepared with the right clothing and accessories is key for any race. This is especially important for Turkey Trot’s when the weather can be so unpredictable in November. Layering is key during the colder months of the year.
Erik’s Turkey Trot Pick: The Nike Therma Sphere Element Crew Top
|Purchase the Nike Therma Sphere Element Crew Top on Running Warehouse|
Esther and Cole Atkins
- Choose which family to spend Thanksgiving with based on the quality of the Turkey Trot in that town. Cole’s parents are in Charleston and mine are in Richmond. Charleston has the better Turkey Day Run, so that’s where we spend Thanksgiving.
- Whatever you do, don’t run after Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve done a post-race shake-out after dinner and won’t do it again. The first 13 minutes were fine, but after that it was all kinds of flavorful burps and more.
- If you plan on proposing to your girlfriend Thanksgiving afternoon, don’t let it ruin your morning race!
Esther and Cole’s Turkey Trot Pick: The Skechers GOrun Ultra
|Purchase the Skechers GOrun Ultra on Running Warehouse
Men’s | Women’s