Great North Run 2011: Count Down to Race Day
Column #128, 17th September 2011
Race Day is almost upon us, and I’m getting flooded with questions about the best race preparation from all my Great North Runners. If you have the eBook you have day-by-day tips for this week all the way to race day to ensure that you will be prepared, ready for a fantastic performance. If not, here’s 12 fundamental tips that everyone can use:
12 Fundamentals to Be Race Ready
Runners of all levels, from novice to elite need to get these basics right. They do seem quite simple, but they are exactly the steps that are commonly missed and lead to disappointment and even failure to finish. These are exactly the reasons why many of the +25% of 2010 GNR runners failed to finish. Lets see if we can reduce this number dramatically:
- To be honest, the key is to not do anything too different than normal. Stick to what you know works for you for good digestion and energy. Yes there is more complexity to conditioning and nutrition, but the week before the race is not the time to make dramatic changes.
- Ramp your running training down significantly. You might just do 2 or 3 light runs to keep you fresh, but this is certainly not the week to be expecting to enhance fitness with training.
- Sleep, Sleep and Sleep some more. You'll feel fresh and energetic when your half marathon comes around.
- Avoid any strength training or activity that gives you any muscle soreness. This is an indication of tissue breakdown and you need all your energy for running 13.1miles. Stay active, but keep it light.
- Avoid changing your nutritional routine dramatically. This week and race day is not the time to experiment with sports nutrition. Stick to what you know you do well on and what will give you the energy you need.
- Drink water. Hydration starts today, not just on the morning of the race. Otherwise you'll end up full and bloated as your stomach struggles to empty high volumes of water. Your stomach needs at least 20mins to empty water, so no gulping down a litre on the start line.
- During the race, use the water stops, but just to take on small amounts steadily during the run.
- Avoid Pasta Parties. I’ve written a 10-page report on the problems that this can cause to 80% of runners. Contact me for a copy.
- Eat plenty of meat, fish and veg this week. Breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want.
- At least 2 hours before the run have a good breakfast.....eg. eggs, bacon, mushrooms, leftovers etc.
- Snack if you need to on anything you know works for you.
- Fact is you don't want your body wasting energy on digestion/assimilating when you need it to run. If you prep well, there will be no need to snack close to or during the race.
And As for next week and getting a great recovery form the run, have a quick look back at my previous article “90-Day Half Marathon Recovery Tips”. Have a Great Run. I'm looking forward to hearing your Half Marathon Stories