Firing up for Race Day

Before any race it is important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. I have always got butterflies in my stomach in the days leading up to a race, not for the running itself but for the logistical preparation that requires a bit of organisation, especially for an early morning race start.

Here are some of my tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Fuel your body substantially.  In the days leading up to a race, we do need to increase our carb intake, as carbs are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen which is the form of energy our body can access and use most easily. This doesn’t meaning having to stuff your face and overhaul your usual eating plan. Rather, focus on redistributing your calories by increasing your carbs, eating smaller amounts of protein and reducing your fat intake.  Check out my post on Hi and Low GI Carbohydrates for some ideas. Remember the morning of the race is not a good time to try out new breakfast ideas, be safe and stick to something you know will sit well with you!

2. Hydrate! It is important to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to your race, to prevent dehydration and improve perfromance. Not convinced? Check out this article from Runners World. If you find normal water boring, try adding fresh citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange slices to your water 😉

3. Prepare EVERYTHING the night before. Layout your clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, running bib, safety pins, old jumper (often throw it to the side just before the start of the race), Ipod, watch etc. Make sure any tech stuff is fully charged.

4. Set 2 alarms! Often waking up for a Sunday run at 4am can feel like it is part of a dream, so be safe and set 2 alarms 🙂

5. Workout logistics. Often roads are closed and parking is restricted so I always try and use public transport on the day which is often free *bonus*. If you are meeting people after the race, make a meeting spot as for big races the crowds are usually quite big.

6. Mentally prepare yourself. Accept the training you have done, be confident in your physical and mental strength and forgive yourself if you are regretting not have done more.

Check out my last half-marathon race recap for some more race day info.. and remember to just enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, smile at the spectators and thank the volunteers 🙂

What is your next race?
What does your prerace meal look like?
What is your top tip for running a race?

*Please note, I am not a dietician or fitness expert, I have simply fallen in love with running and these tips are based on my personal experiences and research. If you have a query, comment or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.

Good luck to all those running the City2Surf in Sydney this Sunday!

Advertisements

Race recap

Hi guys!

Welcome to my very first post.  I hope you enjoy your stay and follow me along my journey.. running, eating and all else that I share

I am going to begin my first blog entry with a recap of the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon that I ran last Sunday. Jeez, it was a tough one.  Some days you just get into the groove, and others are a bit more of a struggle. This was quite the struggle.

I woke up bright and early at 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning (it was still pitch dark outside and freeezing!).  What got me out of bed you might ask.. oats and tea ofcourse! I switched the heater on full blast, got dressed (Race tip #1: Always have your clothes, race-bib, ipod etc ready the night before) and ran to the kitchen to make breakfast.

Now for Amy (my sister) and I, making oats is process which involves what we call ‘nurturing’.  It always involve stirring, adding water, addding milk, testing, stirring, adding banana/prunes/seeds/nuts, stirring, heating, adding more milk, adding honey, tasting, reheating and finally, when perfect, eating! (I will go through the actual method in more detail at a later stage ;).

Oats and tea

I then braved the cold and drove to the station, where I caught a train into the city. When I arrived it was a bit chaotic but I just marched along, following the crowd as I do 🙂 until we reached the starting area where the sun was just rising!

Saint Mary’s Cathedral

I tried to warm myself up by awkwardly running up and down, used the porter-loos a few times and before I knew it, it was 6:45am and time to begin. For the first few kms I struggled to find my rhythm.  There were over 5000 people racing, and the roads were jam packed. Usually I can focus my mind on my own goal and get into my ‘zone’, but I seemed to be a bit all over the place.  Eventually at about 7kms I began to find a good rhythm and wow it makes a difference!

For me, the best part of racing is being able to set a goal and challenging yourself constantly, both physically and mentally to reach that goal.  The second best thing about racing is looking out for your fans a.k.a. Josh (my man) and Amy (my sister) who I knew would be waiting for me at the finish line… it is definitely good motivation to keep running 🙂

At about the half way mark we started passing alot of spectators… and I had my eyes zooming left, right and everywhere in search of Umz (a.k.a Amy and Josh. Ha! Spotted! Half asleep…) I know it is supposed to be the other way around, them looking out for me, but I started screaming “Joshhhhhhhh……Umz…….”.  It was all very exciting.

Spotted! In the fleuro orange shorts

The few kms of the race my knees started to take a beating but I just kept rolling.

I eventually finished and hobbled across the finish line at 2.00.34. 
I was very proud of myself even though it wasn’t a PB.

Josh and I….me attempting to stretch

We then took the train to Bondi Junction and had a good breakfast at Skinny Dip Cafe.  Umz and I had toasted sourdough with ricotta, honey and toasted walnuts (sorry no photos!) – But OMG amazing! Josh settled on poached eggs on turkish toast with a side of avo (it looked good, too).

We then headed back across the Harbour Bridge, home-bound (I live in the Northshore) and I went straight for a massage at our local shopping centre, to get that lactic acid moving! It was painful but SO worth it. The rest of the afternoon involved a hot radox bath, pjs and sleep 🙂

Race day is always fun, isn’t it?

Tell me, how do you relax after a hard workout?