The People’s Race is almost upon us! Here’s how to tackle your final week.
Get in an easy, light run: do a 1km warm up, run 2 – 6km at race pace, followed by a 1km cool down. To arrive at the starting line fresh and ready to go: try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night this week.
- Continue to follow your usual healthy, balanced training diet.
- Be sure not to skip meals or snacks on the days leading up to the event.
- Take extra care with food hygiene.
- Choose well-cooked protein and avoid raw fish and shellfish (e.g. sushi or oysters) as well as undercooked meat and eggs (e.g. burgers).
- Stick with foods you know you can tolerate.
- Don’t try anything new or risky.
- Avoid junk food.
- Reduce alcohol intake in the week leading up to the race; and ideally, avoid alcohol in the 24 hours before the race. You can have that celebratory beer (or 3) after the race.
Wednesday Plan your race day well in advance. It’ll minimise stress on the day – which means you’ll start your race relaxed and focussed. Ask – and answer – the following questions:
- What time are you going to wake up? (Here’s how to cope with an early morning start.)
- How are you getting to the start, or where are you going to park?
- How much time do you need to get from your car to the start?
- When and where are you going to go the loo?
- How are you going to get back to your car after the race?
- Are you taking any nutrition en route? What?
- Study the route map: where should you hydrate, take in fuel, look for your supporters? Have you visualised where you should be at certain points?
Thursday & Friday
Try to hit the expo early. Browse the stalls and look at all the gear and gadgets on offer. Don’t buy anything new for race day! Running in brand new gear, or trying out a new gel for the first time is a sure way to ruin your race. If you’re buying new gear, consider it a reward for finishing the race.
Try to keep off your feet as much as possible, but do go for a light leg loosener run (a maximum of 20 minutes). Be prepared and lay out your gear the night before. You don’t want to be fumbling around in the early hours of the morning searching for your gear. Trust us.
- Tie your timing chip to your shoes
- Pin your number on your tee.
- Shorts, socks, cap, sports bra, sun glasses? Check, check, check, check, check.
- Take a snack (such as a banana or gel) to have while you wait for the start.
- Plan your breakfast: is your coffee ready to brew? Breakfast waiting to be munched? Do you have enough milk? You don’t want to start your day without your normal routine!
Sunday Hello, race day! Set two alarms, and get a friend to call you if you haven’t messaged them by a certain time. Stay calm: you’ve done everything that you need to! Breathe it in and soak it up: your 2016 Soweto Marathon is here!