Running is great for your health, but it’s important to read the following information to make sure you are ready to take part in your Great Run event.
Make sure you stay well-hydrated. In the weeks leading up to the event, the colour of your urine is a useful indicator of hydration. Generally, dark urine suggests you are dehydrated (although nutritional supplements can also alter urine colour), with pale straw-coloured water being ideal.
Alcoholic drinks are dehydrating, so avoid them in the 24 hours before you run.
During a run, drink when you need to. Don’t gulp large volumes of fluids if you aren’t thirsty – it can result in a condition called hyponatraemia in which your body salts become diluted, possibly causing confusion and vomiting.
Make sure you know where the drink stations are on the course.
FIT TO RUN?
Don’t run if you feel unwell or have been ill recently. Running can put you at risk of serious illness if you have been vomiting felt dizzy or had chest pains. Don’t be tempted to start just because you have collected sponsors to raise money for charity. You can attempt another run in the future.
As a guide, during the last few weeks before the event takes place you should have run between 17 and 20 miles continuously for a marathon, 4 miles for a 10k and 8 miles for a half marathon in training to be properly prepared for the distance. If you haven’t managed this, you may not enjoy the event or be able to complete it safely, so please don’t run this time.
Remember to fill in the requested information on the back of your run number – including emergency contact numbers for the day of the event. You must run with your own number, nobody else’s. Don’t let anyone else use it if you decide not to take part.
In the week and days before your run, don’t try any new foods and drinks as it may affect your digestion. Stick to what your body knows and what you have been eating during your training.
ON THE DAY
The first few miles of the run can be very crowded. Many people tire themselves out by dodging in and out of runners because they are behind on their personal run plans. Try to maintain a steady, even pace and enjoy the event.
After the run, collect your bag as soon as you can. Put on some warm, dry clothing and don’t get cold.
Some runners don’t drink enough when they’re running and need to rehydrate afterwards, so make sure you take a drink as soon as you can after crossing the finish line. Make sure you’re fully hydrated with water or squash before consuming any alcohol once you’ve finished.
Try to eat some starchy foods within two hours of finishing the event – your muscles can replace energy (in the form of glycogen) most efficiently during this post-run window.
- Never wear new trainers for the first time on the big day. Ideally, you should have run in your shoes for at least a month beforehand.
- You might want to bring along some old clothes to wear while standing on the start line. Once you start the run, you can throw them away.
- Don’t forget to bring your own safety pins to fasten on your run number.
- Remember to apply Vaseline to any areas where you have had chafing during training – that might include the groin, under your arms, the bra band or toes.
- Wear weather resistant suncream, but not too much – you don’t want it running into your eyes as you sweat.
Finally, remember to ENJOY the event! You've made it this far in your training, now is the time to let all your hard work pay off. We'll be there to cheer you over the finish line! Good luck.