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5 Tips for Tackling a Turkey Trot


Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year with a turkey trot. Whether you enjoy running or walking, or if you're just looking to get active, completing a 5K on the most gluttonous day of the year is a fun and easy way to burn some calories and get moving with friends and family before enjoying a delicious meal. Use the tips below to conquer your turkey day race.

1. Pace yourself and have fun.

Turkey Trots are typically community-based events that benefit local charities, schools or organizations. They're more about having fun and getting some exercise than running for time. Round up your family and friends, and give it your best shot. Not a runner? No big deal. You can walk the race. What matters is that you finish and have a good time.

2. Prepare for the race.

If you're not working out on a regular basis, start now. While a 5K may be on the lower distance for races, it's still an undertaking if you aren't active. Give yourself the best chance of finishing by getting out a few times a week and walking around your neighborhood. Worried about the distance? Drive it with your car or ride your bike the 3.1 miles. It isn't as bad as you think. If you want to take it to the next level and start running, try this workout for beginners

3. Eat before the race.

"Since it's likely that you spent the night before the race prepping your Thanksgiving feast, tap into your stash to fuel your workout," said Amanda Carlson-Phillips, vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. She recommends layering a 100% whole wheat roll with peanut butter and homemade cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving-style PB&J or eating a serving of stuffing (try our recipe) which has the carbs needed to fuel your workout. Down your snack with a 16-ounce glass of water, and you're ready to go.

4. Stay hydrated.

Even if it's really cold outside, you need to keep your body hydrated for the entire race. It's even more important that you pay attention to hydration in the cold because without the blistering heat and heavy sweating, you may forget to drink. Aim to drink 20 ounces of water or Gatorade's low-calorie G2 during the race.

5. Enjoy a post-trot snack.

While the reality is that you may indulge later in the day, it's still important to eat within 30 minutes of your race. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte, agave nectar or gingerbread cookies with Greek yogurt, or a pumpkin pie shake, recommends Carlson-Phillips. Don't forget to wash down your snack with 16 ounces of water.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Health, Walking, Running, Race