NEW YORK (WABC) -- This time of year is considered the racing season for people who run - from Thanksgiving Day 5K's to the New York City Marathon.
Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne met with an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Sports Performance Center in Manhattan to go over good practices for all runners on race day.
Kate Baird, an exercise physiologist, said every race should begin with a 10 to 15-minute dynamic warmup, including moving stretches like jumping, squats, and planks.
"I think a lot of people would see that their performance will improve if they include a specific warmup, a running specific warmup," she said.
Baird said runners should shy away from static stretches as part of their warmup because those can send the wrong signals to the body.
"Long static stretching tends to suggest to your nervous system it's time to relax," she said. Baird said all runners should do static stretches at the end of the race.
Baird said runners should have a plan for how they will tackle the mileage. She said some runners go out easy for the first half of the race and then pick up the pace for the second half. Others split it into threes.
"I think everybody has to find a strategy that works for them and then try as hard as you can to commit to it," she said.
Baird said form is also important and she ran Kristin Thorne through an analysis of her running stride at the NYU Running Lab.
There runners can get a 3-hour long evaluation, which includes a fitness plan and follow-ups for $495. It is not covered by insurance. A 90-minute evaluation costs $395.
Baird had a warning for runners who focus solely on pace - their minute per mile.
"A lot of times people focus so much on the pace that it can really push you beyond that recovery point," she said.
Baird said if a runner is having an off day to try to relax.
"If you need to ditch a watch, ditch your watch," she said. "Don't watch it - just try to shift your mindset."
Baird said runners shouldn't worry about needing to walk for some of the race.
"I just want to people to remember to have fun," she said. "You're doing this because you love it."
To learn more about the NYU Running Lab, visit their website.
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