I’ve come home today from work to my Chester Half Marathon race number, all of a sudden it dawned on me that next weekend I will be running another half marathon. It has been an absolute pleasure training with the Nuffield Health Chester Runners and not only has the group grown in numbers over the last 5 months, everyone has achieved so much, I would say we are all ready for race day now! I thought this would be a good time to share some little gems of advice that will hopefully help you all achieve was you set out to do 5 months ago.
The week run up to race day should focus on the following- taper your mileage to simply tick over the legs, pay more attention to your stretching routines, consider your diet and what works for you and most importantly start getting hydrated early.
By now you will have done the long the runs and nothing you do now will affect the big day, at this stage the muscles are tired, tight and at a greater risk of injury, you may even be experiencing a few niggles. The mileage should be no greater than 6 miles at this point and over the next week you should be tapering it down to 3-4miles, instead consider stretch routines, foam roller sessions and sports massage – please book in with one of the personal trainers if you need a little more help with this.
You should have an idea on what food worked well for you on those training runs and start to plan your pre-race meal. Check out a GI nutrition plan for those slow releasing carbohydrates, about 3 days before the race start to increase the intake this will ensure the glycogen stores are fully topped up. Hydration is by far the most important aspect in endurance running, going into a race dehydrated can be dangerous, will definitely result in a not very enjoyable run and is too late to put right during the race. Making sure you take in adequate fluid also needs to start 3 days before race day – aim for between 1.5-2ltrs a day if you can, if you tended to suffer with cramp on your longer runs a sachet of Diorylte or 1 hydration tablet in your last drink the day before may help.
That brings us to race day… Do not change anything!
No new trainers, no new socks, no new shorts, no new vest – the most seasoned runners have all made this mistake, so if there is one thing that you take away from this make sure it is – Do not change anything on race day!
Position yourself at the right start point for your desired time or preferably a little quicker, this will make sure that you don’t get carried away with runners faster than you but will also stop you from having to duck and dodge the slower runners in the first few miles.
Finally “Run Happy!” be proud of what you have already achieved and what you are going to achieve on Sunday 17th May, you have worked so hard to get here…. Enjoy it!
If you would like anymore advice do not hesitate to ask.