On Thursday, thousands of people across the country will suit up for their excuse to be able to load up on calories during their Thanksgiving feast: the turkey trot. You know, the 5K races that help raise money for a worthy cause and are a great way to bond with your family and friends in a healthy way.
Or better yet: A chance to leave them in the dust as you sprint by everyone and grab the turkey trot crown. For tips on how to do that, we spoke to Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt. Once we explained to him the concept of a turkey trot about three times (he’s a sprinter after all), he offered this:
“What I would do is just jog with everyone and just act like I’m really really tired and then kick my speed in at the end,” he said.
And if you don’t have that Olympic speed? Well he has these tips for you.
1. GET IN THE RIGHT MINDSET.
“I would say just get focused, get focused and have a plan. You have to have a plan on what you’re going to do when it starts, get focused and go out and be competitive.”
2. TRASH TALK.
“I’m not a trash talker myself, but it can help. It can help with the competitive juices … Trash talking can be good. Especially when you all are actually going to be friends afterwards and you were friends before. That could work. Get the mind going.”
3. HYDRATE ON WEDNESDAY.
“The three things I would say are carbs, hydrate and get proper rest,” he said. “Get your water in because you don’t want to cramp up halfway through. Get your rest because you don’t want to get tired and not finished. And get that pasta, get those carbs for that energy.”
4. SO DOES THAT MEAN NO GOING OUT WITH YOUR HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS THE NIGHT BEFORE?
No way. You can go. “True competitors who aren’t trying to seem competitive but are really trying to be competitive, I would say when people are out the night before make sure you are the one drinking a lot more water than everybody else,” he said. “If you have a drink, make sure you babysit your drink. Act like you’re out having fun but the whole time your serious about [the race the tomorrow].”