Leigh Smith from Mid Sussex Osteopaths shares his top tips for ensuring race day success. The Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend is around the corner. It’s a unique race with unique challenges. We’re getting into the big weeks of training now, tiredness is setting in, you climb the stairs on your hands and knees rather than walking, and you will literally eat anything that isn’t tied down, and you wonder “how can I keep going?!”
Keep the faith!
The first top tip is don’t change anything on the race weekend itself. There is always the
temptation to change your shoes, change your fuel, change your long runs. If you’re a very experienced runner then you may be able to change some of these and get away with it, but for most people, keep doing what you’ve been doing: it has got you this far, trust the training and trust yourself.
Tip no 2. Practise, practise, practise. Don’t just get the miles in with your training. Use your next few long runs as an opportunity to practise for your race weekend. This is the time to test everything.
- Run in the exact outfit and trainers that you’re planning to wear on the race weekend
- Practise your race day nutrition, including the food planned for the day before, breakfast and in-race nutrition.
- Think about recovery. If you’re running this as a multi day event, you need to concentrate on your post-race nutrition to get you ready for the next day. Look at getting plenty of carbs into your diet over the weekend, and some protein for muscle recovery.
- Set off at the time of the race. If your race starts at 9.30 am, let’s get your body used to this with the dress rehearsal runs.
- And, if you’re running more than one of the individual events, try to run 3 days back-to-back like you will be over the weekend.
Your pace or mine?
If your training and taper has gone well, then there’s a good chance the pace you start running at is going to feel a little easy. This isn’t a bad thing; remember you must do this pace for 26.2 miles over 3 days on undulating courses. On the day, with all the excitement and the crowds, it’s easy to get dragged along with other runners and before you know it,
you’re head to head with the lead pack. Try to resist this temptation; there’s a finish line to get to !
Try not to stress the small stuff
Lastly, you can’t control the uncontrollable. Sometimes life can throw you a curveball: your child has a sickness bug all night or there’s a heat wave on the weekend. All you can do is control how you react to any unexpected problems. No-one’s training or race ever goes perfectly but know that you did everything in your power to get it right, you controlled all your controllables and you’re going to FINISH THE RACE!
What if you’re struggling with your training?
If you’re struggling with any aspect of your training or with any injury, please contact me. I’m a running coach and a Sports Massage therapist with several marathons under my laces so am ideally placed to advise and help you. Don’t leave it too late to fix any problems in your preparation!
See you on the other side, Marathoners.
Sports Massage Therapist with Mid Sussex Osteopaths