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SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2023

Running Tips & Etiquette

We are committed to assisting you in formulating a robust running plan that maximizes your chances of achieving your goal time. To avoid unpleasant surprises during the competition, it's crucial to be aware of certain factors. Here is a comprehensive checklist to ensure you are well-prepared for your race.

Consider the following recommendations:

  • Attain your goal pace

    Assess your predicted pace and training times based on your participation category. Track your longer runs to determine the average pace. Strive to maintain this pace during the race, as it enhances your ability to sustain it.

  • Practice your goal pace

    In one of your runs leading up to the race, incorporate your desired pace to familiarize your legs with the muscle memory required. Adjust your effort level according to your current heart rate, preparing your body for race day.

  • Follow a suitable race week training load

    During race week, engage in approximately four to five workouts. Include a short-duration speed workout that aligns with a tempo run, where your maximum heart rate should be around 85%-90%. Additionally, complete a short run at your anticipated race pace, along with easy-pace runs.

  • Familiarize yourself with the course

    Carefully study the course elevation map, noting the incline locations, numbers, and difficulty. Understand the layout of the route, whether it loops or follows an out-and-back pattern. Pay attention to the placement and distances of aid stations, ensuring you plan accordingly for hydration and nutrition needs.

  • Thoroughly read your race instructions

    Familiarize yourself with all the race-related guidelines. Pay attention to the race start time, reporting time, course duration, finish enclosure location, baggage drop points, and any specific rules such as restrictions on headphones or outside assistance. Store the helpline number for emergencies.

  • Research the predicted weather

    Consider the forecasted weather for race day when selecting your race attire. Early morning races may start with chilly temperatures, which may subsequently warm up. Plan accordingly, layering your clothing to adapt to changing conditions. If it will be hot and humid, reassess your race strategy and adjust your paces accordingly.

Countdown Strategies: Three Days until the Race

As you approach the final three days before the race, it's essential to incorporate these valuable tips into your preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the anticipated race day weather conditions

    Take the time to research the weather forecast for race day. This information will determine your race attire. In many cases, races start early in the morning when the weather can be chilly, but it may warm up as the race progresses. Consider wearing an extra layer that you can remove once you arrive at the venue. If the weather is expected to be hot and humid, reassess your race plan to see if any adjustments are necessary.

  • Optimize your carbo-loading and hydration

    Prioritize carbohydrates (65%-70% of your caloric intake), followed by protein (20%-25%), and fat (10%) during your carbo-loading phase. Additionally, ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day to maintain clear urine.

  • Create a pace chart for the race

    Develop a pacing strategy for the race by dividing it into manageable blocks, such as 5K segments. Align your plan with your goal pace. There are two recommended pacing strategies: even splits and positive splits. With even splits, you maintain a consistent pace throughout the race. Positive splits involve running the second half of the race slower than the first half. Avoid attempting negative splits, as this may lead to fatigue and a significant slowdown in the later stages. Remember that the initial kilometers of the race should be around five to seven seconds slower than your goal pace to allow your body to warm up. Identify the locations of any inclines and plan accordingly, incorporating your nutrition and hydration strategy.

  • Plan your travel to the race expo and venue

    Take the time to identify the locations of the race expo and race venue, as they may be separate. Decide on your mode of transportation to these places. If the race is in an unfamiliar city, consider doing a reconnaissance visit to ensure you know the exact locations.

  • Attend the race expo

    It is advisable to visit the race expo. Remember to bring your race registration confirmation letter and valid identification

  • Engage in stretching exercises

    Focus on stretching the lower extremity muscles, including glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, calves, and Achilles tendon. Perform three sets of 20-second stretches for each muscle group. Static stretching will help release tension from muscles, tendons, joint capsules, and ligaments, promoting recovery and reducing any training-related aches leading up to race week.

  • Prioritize quality sleep

    Avoid unnecessary travel during race week and establish a disciplined schedule that allows for sufficient sleep. Adequate rest is crucial for your body's recovery and muscle restoration. It's normal to feel anxious the night before the race, but try to focus on getting a sound sleep and waking up with a refreshed mind.

  • Visualize the race

    Develop a clear plan for how you will execute the race. Determine your starting pace and anticipate any adjustments you may need to make along the course. Engage in positive self-talk, visualize success, and mentally rehearse the race by envisioning the entire course. Find a peaceful moment to lie down, close your eyes, and create a vivid mental image of your race strategy.

Countdown Strategies: One Day until the Race

During this crucial period, it's important to focus on the following:

  • Opt for a light dinner

    Choose a meal that is not heavy or overly filling to avoid any discomfort during the race.

  • Hydrate properly with water and electrolytes

    Ensure that you consume an adequate amount of fluids, including water and electrolyte-rich beverages, to replenish your sodium and potassium levels.

  • Limit fluid intake close to bedtime

    Stop hydrating about 90 minutes before going to bed to avoid frequent visits to the bathroom that may disrupt your sleep.

  • Avoid gas-inducing and spicy foods

    Steer clear of foods that may cause gas or have a high spice content, as they can make your digestive system more sensitive.

  • Stay away from alcohol and high-caffeine items

    Refrain from consuming alcohol and beverages with high caffeine content, as they can disrupt your sleep patterns and affect your performance on race day.

  • Getting Race-Ready

    On the evening before the race, gather your essential gear.

  • GPS watch, timing chip, and smartphone

    Make sure you have these devices ready for tracking your performance and staying connected.

  • Race attire, including shorts, t-shirt, undergarments (such as a sports bra for women), socks, and shoes

    Prepare your clothing for maximum comfort and optimal performance.

  • Race bib

    Attach your race bib to your attire as instructed by the race organizers.

  • Personal care items

    Pack items such as body lotion, deodorant, sunglasses, a cap, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the elements.

  • Hydration accessories

    Don't forget to bring a hydration sipper or bottle to stay hydrated throughout the race.

  • Belt bag with fueling options

    Prepare a belt bag or similar accessory to carry your favorite energy gels, bars, and snacks for sustained energy during the race.

  • By taking these steps to fuel your body and prepare your gear, you'll be well-equipped for a successful race day. Good luck!

Preparing for Race Day: A Comprehensive Guide

The highly anticipated race day has finally arrived. To ensure you have a successful and enjoyable experience, here are some valuable guidelines to follow:

  • Nourish and Hydrate Wisely.

  • Avoid overeating before the race, but also don't run on an empty stomach. The timing and composition of your breakfast depend on how much time you have before the race.

  • If you have three to four hours, opt for a full breakfast without animal protein, as it takes longer to digest.

  • If you have two hours, choose a snack with liquid carbohydrates like smoothies or juices. Prioritize carbohydrates while keeping fat, fiber, and protein intake low.

  • Stay away from heavy, fatty, or high-fiber foods that can cause stomach issues.

  • Arrive Early and Prepared.

  • Make sure to reach the race venue well in advance, allowing ample time to pick up your race number if needed.

  • Take advantage of the extra time to use the restroom facilities and perform your warm-up routine.

  • Diversify Your Warm-up Routine.

  • Warm-ups are crucial for gradually increasing your heart rate, oxygenating your muscles, and raising your body temperature to prepare for the race.

  • The shorter the race distance, the longer your warm-up should be.

  • Incorporate a mix of jogging, dynamic stretches, and running drills into your warm-up routine.

  • Hydration Strategies.

  • Staying hydrated is essential, but avoid drinking anything within 30 minutes before the race to give yourself time for one last restroom visit if necessary.

  • If your race is in the morning, ensure you hydrate properly upon waking up. For evening races, maintain regular fluid intake throughout the day.

  • Start at a Manageable Pace.

  • It's natural to be eager and want to start the race at a fast pace, but doing so increases the risk of injury.

  • Begin with a slow, conversational pace to prevent sports-related injuries and ensure a smooth race experience.

  • Embrace the Race Experience.

  • While training is a science, racing is an art. If you've trained diligently and followed a well-planned race strategy, success is likely.

  • Utilize the pacing chart you prepared and make use of aid stations to refuel as you did during your training long runs.

  • Enjoy the race with a positive mindset, keeping stress at bay.

  • Have a Backup Plan.

  • Adjust your race plan if the weather conditions are more challenging than expected, adding a few extra seconds per kilometer to your overall pace.

  • If you misjudge your pace and feel extreme fatigue, slow down and incorporate walking intervals. Stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes to avoid dehydration.

  • Maintain a relaxed mindset, focus on positive thoughts, and aim to finish the race strong.

  • Post-Race Recovery Recommendations

  • After crossing the finish line, resist the urge to sit down and continue walking to the aid station inside the finish enclosure.

  • Hydrate adequately with water or electrolytes until you feel the need to urinate.

  • Consume a snack rich in carbohydrates and protein to replenish your energy levels.

  • Allow your body to rest completely for at least two days after the race, extending the duration if you ran a full marathon.

  • Consider a light massage the day after the race to alleviate any post-race aches.

  • Gradually reintroduce easy-paced runs of 40 to 60 minutes in the following week.

  • Begin your next phase of training 10 to 14 days after the race to ensure full recovery of muscles and tissues.

  • Race day can be both exciting and intimidating, especially for beginners.