Nine Things To Do Before Your Half Marathon
With just weeks until your Spring half-marathon, make sure you tie up these loose ends!
Calculate Your Pace
If this is your first half-marathon, use an online pace calculator to help set up a realistic finishing time (use training runs, or 10km races). If you’re more of a half-marathon veteran, use your most recent successful half marathon finish time to predict race pace for your next race. You can use these numbers for your race-pace training runs, too.
A, B, C Goals
Having a big goal for the race is great, but be realistic. Set a couple of other goals too (“B” and “C” goals) so that you can still call the day a success even if you don’t run a PB or place in the top 10. For example, your A goal could be to set a PB. Your B goal could be to run the entire race. And your C goal could be to finish the race. A range of goals means you’ll always have something to celebrate. There’s no failing!
Stick To Your Guns
Even the most experienced distance runners can get swept up in the excitement (or nerves) of race day. Promise yourself that you will focus on yourself, not others, and stick to your pace plan. It will help if you feel totally confident in your plans. Go over them in your head on the start line.
Develop Positive Mantras
Running long distances is a mental challenge. You can boost your chances of a successful experience by learning positive mindset techniques like self-talk. Develop mantras and positive statements which really resonate with you. Then use them before the event, on the start line, and during the race. Here are some to try: “I can do this”, “I love running”, “This is what I’ve been training for”, “The day is finally here”, or “I am strong, healthy and fit”.
Break The Race Down
13.1 miles is a long way by anybody’s reckoning. It might help to break the race down into sections. 4 x 5kms, then the final section? Or 2 x 10kms and a bit? Or you could even break it down to the mile. This will help with pacing, and will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
Remember Your Reasons
Why did you enter this half-marathon? Was it to raise funds for charity? To celebrate your fitness levels? To support a friend? If the race gets tough, focus on this bigger goal. It will stop you from spiralling inside your own head and will help drive you forward.
Get Your Nutrition Right
As well as thinking about what you eat before the race, prepare your food and drink for the post-race period. Have water (plus electrolytes) waiting for you. A protein drink is often an easy way to get fluids and nutrition in after the race. Then eat a balanced meal that’s not too heavy, something like a sandwich (with protein filling) plus a piece of fruit, or rice salad with chicken.
We often have good intentions for the post-race period, but let them slide. Strutcure your recovery strategies like your training. Before the race, write down recovery sessions in your calendar for the week after the race. Schedule in foam rolling and stretching (30 minutes a day would be great). Book a sports massage if budget allows (leave a few days between the race and a massage).
Don’t Hurry Back…But Don’t Leave It Too Long
After a race, are you usually itching to run again? Or do you find it difficult to get back into the swing of running? Neither extreme is ideal! Give yourself 5-7 days off after running a half marathon, but then ease back into gentle, mid-distance runs. Forget the pressure of stopwatch and Garmin. Schedule in your favourite scenic run, or a good social trot with running pals.
Join us at the Windsor Half Marathon Sunday September 25th 2016 at 10.00am