Photo credit: Fleetfeet Birmingham

What do you fear most happening on race day itself?

a) You get a side stitch within the first 5 km

b) Your heel hurts and you can’t go further

c) You need to pee

Runners have their fair share of worst nightmares, and every little thing that happens on race day itself can become a full-blown disaster. Especially since it’s your big day as a runner and you’re probably already nervous as hell.


Achievement is not only about months and months of preparation, but knowing how to hold your ground on race day itself. We’ve some tips for you.

The nightmare: Side stitch

How to overcome it: In actuality, the real reason of the side stitch is not yet known. The good news is that you can try to curb the pain or reduce the chances of it occurring. First, hydrate sufficiently. Try to drink at aid stations when you can and choose electrolyte fluids over plain water. Second, run within your familiar threshold. Those who run less frequently tend to suffer from side stitches more often than veteran runners. It could be that veteran runners are more informed about their own limitations and their body conditions. Of course, the root of the problem still remains a mystery, so these remedies might not help everyone.

The nightmare: Muscle cramps

How to overcome it: Warm-up, warm-up, warm-up. If you’re still excusing yourself from this before runs, it’s definitely time you changed your time. Dynamic warm ups such as squats, side lunges and knee tucks really help open up your hips. They loosen muscles and prevent them from snapping during your more intense workouts. Elite runners devote about 10-20 minutes to proper warm ups because they’re just so important. Besides, it helps with your nerves. After 10 tuck jumps, you’d probably feel more pumped than jittery.

The nightmare: Feeling too heavy to run

How to overcome it: Usually, this happens if we haven’t done the due diligence to work up the mileage before our actual run. Your body needs to know how it feels like running at pace time and how it feels to be on your feet for 5 hours. Strive to finish strong but don’t push yourself overboard. Another aspect to consider is getting the proper nutrition. Your muscles will stiffen up when it runs out of glycogen. Energy is required both to contract and relax your muscles. So remember to carbo-load properly before your race.

Don’t fret if you feel undertrained. Having already reached this point before race day, you’ve already got a few tricks about running in your pocket. Have a good rest tonight and prepare to achieve tomorrow!


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