Do you have a fun run looming? There are things you can do in the final two weeks to improve your performance – that have nothing to do with running!
Here’s a checklist for preparing for a fun run, no matter what distance you’re tackling.
Have a training plan
You should be following a training plan for 9-12 weeks prior to your event that builds you up gradually and tapers you off before the race. Stick to it!
Don’t be tempted to fit in extra runs in the last couple of weeks as you get nervous!
Book a massage
Don’t run within 12 hours of your massage. I find it best to book my massage before my rest day. Try to book the massage about a week or two prior to your race. Never get a deep tissue massage within 3 days prior to a race or you could be racing sore!
Pay attention to drinking enough water every day in the fortnight prior to the race. Everyone is different when it comes to how much water you need. Just don’t go thirsty and don’t leave it til the last minute to drink up.
Eat food you enjoy, that leaves you feeling good, according to appetite. It’s very important that you don’t go hungry or restrict food and compromise on your nourishment.
Test all equipment and clothing before race day
Run in your shoes, race outfit, socks a few times at least before the big day to avoid chaffing, blisters and wardrobe malfunctions. Try out carbohydrate gels during your long training runs so you’re sure the brand and flavour won’t upset your stomach, and you’ve practiced the art of running while opening and eating!
Avoid late nights and aim for 7 or more hours sleep per night. (Everyone is different, so just aim for enough to make you feel rested). If you can get 2 weeks of good sleep it won’t matter if you have a fitful sleep due to race anticipation on the night before.
For dinner the night before your race and breakfast prior DO NOT eat anything you are unaccustomed to! Breakfast should be 2 hours prior to your race and should be a meal you have eaten before a run many times during your training. I usually eat porridge with fruit and yoghurt, however some people find it hard to run after eating dairy -their stomach feels upset. Try two pieces of toast with banana and honey. Or porridge made with water (if you have trouble running after dairy). Start trying these meals 2 hours before your run now!
The final week should taper so that you are doing easier runs and your final workout should be at least 3 days prior to your race to avoid soreness while racing.
Check your race map and plan ahead
It’s worthwhile looking at a map of the course and taking note of the drink stations, hills, toilets, start line, parking, public transport etc. This will eliminate any last minute panic, and allow you to have a race strategy. ie. When will you take your energy gels? Do you have a target pace? Planning ahead will help the nerves. ***If it’s your first attempt at this distance don’t worry about a race strategy, just find a steady pace and enjoy the experience!
Lay out your clothes/kit the night before
Put together your clothes, shoes, timing chip, race bib, and anything else you need for the run (sunglasses, sunscreen, hair tie, hat etc). You might be a little panicked in the morning.