Those early morning alarms have been answered. You’ve laced up your shoes, done your stretches and got out there. The hard work is done, right?
Although we’re most certainly on the home stretch, we’re entering into a key time for any runner: The final build-up to race day.
We’ve compiled your pre-race checklist, to help you get organised, stay motivated and smash those PBs on the day.
One Week To Go
By now, those intense training sessions are done and it’s time to start tapering, a practice that involves reducing the level of training in the run-up to the big day. This can start anywhere between 3 weeks to 7 days in advance.
It’s recommended that you drop your mileage based on your highest volume week and cut it by somewhere between 20 and 50 per cent, depending on your training plan, so research is key. The balance lies in tapering enough to preserve energy, while not harming your fitness levels and progress.
Begin to drop the distance of your runs to give your body time to rest and heal before the race.
Do A Dress Rehearsal
Now is the time for an action plan. What will you eat the morning of the race? What gear will you wear? Do a run-through of the whole thing during one of your pre-race sessions to make sure everything feels comfortable. You don’t want to discover something isn’t quite right on the day.
24 Hours To Go
Plan Your Playlist + Know Your Route
Getting into the right headspace is just as important as the physical training itself. Planning your playlist will not only help you feel pumped and motivated, but you’ll have something to look forward to and keep you moving in those tough moments.
If running without headphones, knowing your route can be extra important. It can help you map out milestones in your mind and keep you moving forward.
We cannot stress this enough: Get plenty of sleep the night before. Be sure to create the optimum environment for getting some quality shut-eye:
Cool: Our body temperatures start to drop as we fall asleep, so experts reckon that a cooler environment can aid us in dozing off.
Dark: You want to keep out any light that may interfere with your sleep. Blackout curtains or an eye mask is a great option! The light emitted from our phones can also cause some issues, so put the devices down an hour before bed.
Quiet: Create a quiet and calm environment for yourself. If you live in a lively area, some earphones with white noise can help drown out the business outside.
Morning Of The Race:
Plan Your Meal Carefully
It’s best to stick as closely to your normal routine as possible and this includes food! Opt for something high carb and low in fibre (too easily digested). It’s also a good idea to avoid anything too heavy or greasy, as it may cause you to feel a bit tired. A meal at least two hours before your race will give you the fuel you need with enough time to digest.
Dehydration during a race can cause serious issues, such as headaches and muscle spasms. Unfortunately, you can also drink too much water, resulting in everything from stomach discomfort and stitches to the more serious condition of Hyponatremia.
Be sure to drink as you need from the regular water points along the course.
Now that you have some helpful tips to get you through the final stretch, we’re sending all the good vibes your way for the big day.
We’re rooting for you!