Tag Archives: Recreation and Sports

Get ready, get steady… Go!

24 Jun

Today I successfully completed another Half Marathon as part of my 2012 miles in 2012; Malvern Half Marathon in aid of Acorn’s Children’s Hospice. It’s a race I have done before but this year the route was different. It was a disappointing route this year, and took us down some very long and mentally challenging roads, but was still a very well organised and enjoyable race. The marshals were fantastic.  Running in a race is such a different feeling to running a long weekend training run. Mainly because you are competing, and wanting to achieve a good time, but also for me personally it would be completely inconceivable to set out for a race and not complete the full distance.

 

 

So if you are thinking of running a race; whatever the distance, whether it is your first or 100th, here are ten useful tips to see you through.

1. Arrive in good time

Get everything ready the night before. From experience, there is nothing worse than arriving at a race and having to run to the start line, have no time to go the loo (nerves!) and adequately warm up.

2. Fill up on Fuel

You can’t run without fuel. This is a really important bit of advice, when I first started running I made this mistake too many times than I’d care to remember. I was lucky enough to always be in company, and luckily never fainted or anything but I have had to pay for it later. Feeling exhausted for the rest of the day.

You can’t run without fuel but eating too close to starting time can also make yourself poorly, causing cramps or stitch. Try to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal no later than one hour before your race.

3. Hydrate

For races over 10km many people will want to have a drink to stay hydrated. Do you prefer to run with a bottle? Or are you okay with taking drinks at water stations? Decide what you’re going to do, and train in the same way.

4. Check the weather

Check the weather for the day of your race. If its hot and sunny, make sure you will be wearing something cool. If it’s going to be cold or wet, make sure you have a waterproof. Wear something trusted, that’s comfortable and works for you,

5. Plan your race strategy

Its good to think first about how you are going to run your race. I would suggest starting off steady and then picking up the pace half way through. Negative splits. Always remember its your race and no one else’s.  Don’t run alongside someone’s else and try and keep up, they will have their own plan and it may not suit you and your training.

6. Don’t stress

Don’t stress. Its just a race, it’s the taking part that matters. You have got this far so why go and spoil your enjoyment by stressing. Easier said than done, I know. But seriously, try to see the bigger picture and enjoy it.

7. Use your fellow race goers to keep you going

No matter where you run your race at home or abroad, there is something about running in a race that seems to bring everyone together. Runners are friendly creatures! I have met so many people whilst running a race, and it can really help keep you going. When you’re feeling tired use the pace of other runners around you to keep going, you can also try encouraging each other. Another useful tactic is to pick out someone ahead of you and try to catch them, or just maintain the same distance between you.

8. Split the race

This really works for me. I try and imagine to race in sections. If I am running a half marathon I divide it into two 10k’s, for me this really works. Some may split it up even smaller, down to 5k’s. It somehow makes the distance feel less daunting. Try it.

9. Recruit some cheerleaders!

Run your race with a friend or ask friends or family to come along to support you. Having someone at the finish line or along the way will really give you a boost and is great encouragement if you start to feel tired.

10. Whether it’s your first race or your 100th enjoy it.

Whether you come first or last, you did it. Well done. If you didn’t finish in the time you wanted to, it doesn’t matter, isn’t it the taking part that matters? There’s always next time!