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How to prepare for your race, whether you're running a 10k or a marathon

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You've signed up, got your number and have spent weeks (or months) gearing up for this day. You've done all the preparation you can, and all that's left is to wait till race day to enjoy your run! To make sure you have a great race day, whether you're running your first 10k or if hundredth marathon, here are our top race day tips to make it to the finish line with ease.

 

Eat Right

By now you've probably figured out what foods help and hinder your runs, so stick to what you know on the day. In the lead-up to the big day you may feel desperate to squeeze in a few more miles, but reducing the length and intensity of your runs the week before, will enable your body to store the glycogen normally used to fuel your long runs.

You may have heard the common phrase “carb-loading” the day before, but be mindful of how much you consume. Your body can store enough carbohydrates to keep you going for approximately 90 minutes, after which it has to resort to burning fat reserves for energy and this may slow you down. So depending on how long you think you will be running for, adjust your carbohydrate intake accordingly.

We suggest increasing your carbohydrate intake by around 10% over the three to four days leading up to the race. On the day you may have pre-race tummy but try to eat something simple like toast and fruit, or porridge to release energy slowly. Don't try anything new or radical on the day and stay away from heavy, fatty foods.

 

Stick to a Routine

On the day of your race, try to think of the event as just another long run – you've been doing them for months and today is just the same. With that in mind, keep things exactly as they are on any other training day. This will play down the event in your head, keeping nerves at bay and your body relaxed. Lose yourself in a playlist, put on the same trainers and tell your over-excited family to relax.

 

Pace Yourself

Okay, it won't quite feel like every other day but you can use this to your advantage. The atmosphere on the day is electric, filled with a nervous energy and buzz. This will change your nerves from dread and worry, to excited and humble to be there with so many incredible people.

When the gun goes off, you’ll get a surge of adrenaline but don't get carried away – it's a race not a sprint. Take a deep breath to put you back in the moment and set off slowly.

Be in the moment – soak in your surroundings and enjoy being a part of something of this scale. That being said, try to remain focused and be mindful to find a rhythm as quickly as possible and stick to it throughout. Try not to be overwhelmed by the finish line – simply tackle the day one mile at a time and enjoy every minute of it!

Hopefully with these few tips, all those months of hard work will pay off and you’ll be prepared in every way for the upcoming race. Good luck and have fun!

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