1. Pace Yourself
Start slow. It takes 1km before your pace watch tells you exactly how crazy fast you’re going. Plus, all that excitement from the DJs pumping you up at the start line to the crowds of runners running shoulder to shoulder to you is going to push you to go faster than you imagine. Actual races can give off a very encouraging vibe. So remind yourself to stay comfortable, start easy. It helps if you try to imagine your usual training track.
2. Food Intake
The nightmare starts when runners feel the inkling discomfort in their stomachs. Then, the moment of despair settles when you finally accept that you’re going to inevitably need the toilet. The situation just gets worse as the long queue to the toilet comes into sight. You don’t want these unpleasant situations to be ruining your race day experience. Or your chances of getting a PB. So eat only as much as when you’re comfortable with and avoid heavy meals 2 to 3 hours before race start. We’ve a great infographic to guide you through carbo-loading.
3. No new gears. No new nutrients.
Sports gels and drinks are perfect fuel during the race, especially endurance races. At the same time, new nutrients can contain a concoction of electrolytes that might potentially upset your stomach. New gears, on the other hand, can cause chafing. It might be a singlet that’s too tight, or an armband that keeps cutting your skin. Your training should be as close to your actual race as possible. That means using the same gears and sports gels/drinks that you use throughout your training.
4. Reach early. Plan ahead.
Reaching early has numerous benefits. One of which is that it allows you to warm up sufficiently. You could do a couple of squats, let your morning breakfast settle in your stomach and make sure your GPS watch has synced to your current location. You don’t want to be rushing in while the start pen is closing, and you can’t clock your distance or time properly. Another perk is that you get to meet fellow runners and join in the warm up activities organised by the DJs near the start line.
5. Tag your Instagram photos #JustRunLah