Bassett Healthcare prepares for corporate participation in Boilermaker, shares their own tips for runners

COOPERSTOWN – The countdown to race day has begun for Bassett Healthcare’s Boilermaker team and other corporate teams prepping for this year’s running of the 15k road race in Utica. The Boilermaker attracts thousands of runners every year, and many area businesses organize a corporate team to compete in the race and vie for bragging rights.

Also among the sea of runners every year are many people new to the sport, new to running with such a large group (over 10, 692 registered so far), or new to a competitive event.

Mike Rutledge, physical therapist, Team Bassett member and Boilermaker veteran, answers a few questions that commonly come up in the week leading up to the big race.

  • With less than a week to go till race day, what kind of runs should I be putting in?
    Assuming you’ve been training right along, a longer run is OK a week or so before (Saturday or Sunday), then taper off through the week. If speed work has been part of the training plan, doing a moderate up tempo run Tuesday or Wednesday before the race is okay, then a few quick, comfortable reps (200-300 meters) Thursday or early Friday to keep the leg turnover fresh. It is a good idea to follow runs with complex carbohydrates/whole grain snack or meal. It is not such a great idea to gorge on carbs the night before (just have a normal portion meal), it doesn't improve glycogen (muscle energy) storage for race day . Reasonable hydration through the week, but not over hydration--urine should be light in color, but not crystal clear.
  • Race day, what do you recommend for warming up (for the average runner)?
    Five to 10 minutes of light jogging or brisk walking before lining up, depending on fitness level, then maybe some easy jogging or marching in place while waiting for the gun. Gentle stretching is okay, but not aggressive or bouncing stretches.
  • As for the race itself, run the race you prepared for?
    As long as the goal is realistic, you can divide by 9.3 to get a reasonable pace target for each mile. Example: 70 minutes/9.3 miles = 7.52 minutes per mile (just over 7:30--each tenth of a minute is 6 seconds). If this runner was to take the first couple of miles at 6:40 or so, its a pretty good bet that he/she is going to have a tough time later in the race, and probably be forced to slow off the goal pace significantly. Running faster than you trained for can get a person in trouble, and you don’t want to wind up in the medical tent.
  • Anything else?
    Post race, rehydrate with juice, water, and/or electrolyte drinks, and get some food in the stomach, especially if you intend to hit the beer stand!


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