Good advice comes from bad experiences. Here, I’ll save you the bad experience and bad advice. I’ll let you learn from my bad experiences, and trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way.
#1 I don’t warm up – I don’t want to get tired
I’m sure quite a number of us are guilty as charged! We’re going to save our energy for the real run. Well I have been through this phase – I’m not going to waste my energy on this thing they call the warm up. Boy could I not have been more wrong. Jogging 10 minutes prior to your race will not make your tired! On the contrary, warming up has significant benefits for us runners. Warming up increases our body temperature and helps loosen up our muscles. This will prevent the occurrence of injuries and cramps during your race. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that.
#2 I rest before race day
The day before a race is so important – so important that I just rest and do nothing. I need to be fully rested so I can perform my best, right? Contrary to popular belief, this is what you should not do. Now my routine is totally different. I rest 2 days before my race and the day before my race I go for a short fast run and stretch.
This run serves to prep myself mentally and physically for my race the next day. There will be an increased blood flow to my muscles and more oxygen delivered. My muscles are loosen up. And this short run also serves the purpose of topping my glycogen store. Instead of feeling fatigue and lethargic, you will feel refreshed and more than ready for your race!
#3 The perfect game plan
Racing, as with life rarely goes as plan. Remember to have a plan b, c, d, e and f. Things can go very wrong. I’ve had stomach cramps, calf cramps, ankle sprains and even food poisoning. And just like that, your perfect plan A goes out the window. There is no such thing as the perfect race. Try visualizing as many race circumstances as possible – think of what may go wrong and how you may overcome it. This way you won’t be caught off guard and stay on top of your game – come what may.
Most importantly, remember, people have good days, people have bad days. We’ve just got to remember, end of the day what matters is for us to learn to manage the bad days!