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Tips for a good race

May 21, 2010

Prepare your race and you will improve your chances to have a great race.

With the BIG race coming up there are a few things you should consider:

Don’t run with new shoes! I’ve done it a few times, and it always proved to be a bad decision.

Hydrate intelligent! Drink water with good minerals before the race, like barley grass or spirulina. Or make a energetic smoothie with chia seeds which will keep you hydrated. Don’t drink lots of fluids without adding minerals! Try to get some minerals, like electrolyte sports drink during the run.

Make your feet soft and smooth with a foot file and foot cream, to remove calluses. But don’t overdo it.

Cut your toenails, but not too much.

Use a fat cream  between your toes, under the forefoot and around the heel before putting on the race socks. This will reduce friction between skin/skin/salt/sock/shoe.

Even if you normally use heavy insoles, a lighter shoe with normal insoles might be preferable for racing. Make a secure dubble knot that won’t untie, but one that is easy to undo if necessary.

Don’t overdress! Many runners wear long tights and long sleeve shirt because they are afraid they will be cold. But running makes you warm. A cap will store the heat. It’s better to wear an old shirt that you can throw away at the start, and see to that you have bag with warm clothes, a hat and windproof jacket at the finish. Possibly flip-flop sandals, since you might don’t want to walk another metre with your race shoes. Pack some post-race energy & fluids.

Use clothes you are used to! Running 2 hours in heat will make you sweat, so you need to prevent chaffing. Myself I use tight synthetic underwear boxers and running shorts with removed inner.

Eat 2-2,5 hours before race start, so you don’t have to be hungry.

Bring some extra lightweight energy- and salt-tablets, easily accessible in shorts pocket.

Use a lightweight watch.

Don’t run too fast in the beginning; it’s better to run negative, which means that you run the second half somewhat faster. This way you will be able to maintain a good feeling all through the race. Done right you will be able to reach runners high during the last kilometres of the race.

Run with a smile, or at least an inner smile. Remember you do this because you want. Make the race a great experience. If you imagine that you are light you will feel lighter.

Talk to other runners. Look the bystanders in the eyes. Use all the tricks in the book to keep a positive feeling. This will give you lots of extra energy.

Do your own race! Stick to your plan. It can be tempting to follow others but it’s also a good feeling to overtake them later on.

Have fun!

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