7 Things Every Runner Must Do Before Race Day
It’s 10K and half-marathon season upon us! How many of the things on our race-preparation list can you tick off?
1. Make A Plan
If you don’t have a training plan for your race, it’s time to put one in place. Visit the Running4Women website, ask on our forums, or enlist the help of a running coach or local club. Your training plan doesn’t need to be complex or gruelling, it just needs to do the job. Work backwards from the date of your race and make sure you have enough time to get in your key long runs, speedwork, and taper.
Put The Miles In
Whilst some runners can “wing it”, most of us mere mortals need to rack up sensible, sufficient mileage in training so we get through our race in good shape (not to mention in a time we can be proud of). Pay attention to your long runs, but be equally sure to get key training sessions like race-pace runs under your belt.
Recce The Course
If your race is local, run or drive the course. If you can’t do that, go online and look at a map or Google Earth, and access all the information published by the race organiser. Arm yourself with info about hills and descents, off-road sections, sharp turns, bottlenecks, and parking arrangements. Make the race as stress-free as possible.
In the week leading up to your race, keep an eye on weather reports. You never know what to expect in this country! Use this information to pack the correct kit for the day, as well as clothing for before and after the race. You’ll also need to know how much fluid to take with you for drinking before and after the race itself.
Keep Things In Perspective
We get it: this race is important to you. After all, you love running and that’s why you’re here. We do too! But even the most important, once-in-a-lifetime races need to be kept firmly in perspective. Think about why you’re running this race. How will you feel if you fail to reach the time goal you’ve set yourself? Keep hold of some external motivating factor which will keep you grounded even if you have a “bad day at the office”. It could be running for charity, or thinking of someone who is inspired by your running efforts. These bigger-picture touchstones will help you feel proud even if you don’t get a PB, and will help you keep going if the race gets tough.