For many racing & the satisfying feeling of achievement in its aftermath is what gets us through the hard graft of training & gives us goals & motivation to keep striving forward.
The days prior to a race can be a tricky business for runners of all levels…. Whether it be pre- race nerves, niggling injuries or finding it hard to rest up!
Here are some (5k/10k) pre-race tips to help you get the best out of yourself in the days leading up to your race & for race day itself:
Take it easy!
In the two or three days before your race start to ease back in the quantity & the intensity of your training. The amount you do this can depend on the individual & how much training you are doing but with practice you can find a happy balance to this tricky period & one that will allow you to perform to your best on race day.
Believe in your training
Learn to trust in all the hard work you have done to get to this point & try not to let negative doubts take over. Remember no build up is 100% ideal so maximize what you can & feed off the positives.
Stick to what you know
Training is for trying out new ideas but for a race stick to what you’re used to. Whether this be new runners, different food/ drink or changing your sleeping habits you can save these for trialing out when in a block of training.
Don’t worry if you feel a bit tired & sluggish on race day!
For some this feeling can be exaggerated more than others ( myself!). This feeling can be quite normal & is usually your body’s way of subconsciously preserving energy ahead of the hard effort of the race to come. I personally have had some of my best performances when I have felt lethargic right up to the end of my warm up… Once the race starts this feeling disappears! Don’t over think it & keep reminding yourself that you’re are ready to perform once the gun goes.
Eat well the day before & stay hydrated With a morning race start it can be hard & not ideal to have a big breakfast. Allowing for this try load up with sufficient carbohydrates the day before & have a light breakfast on race day. Try constantly stay on top of hydration by sipping water or even some electrolyte drink ( don’t over do it!) as Irish summer weather can be quite humid & sometimes underestimated
Enjoy the pre-race buzz & anticipation Try get to the race location in plenty of time so your not rushing. Around an hour or 45 minutes before should be fine. Use this period to warm up & get focused. Pre-race nervousness is normal & can be utilised into a ” nervous energy ” which will fire you up for when the gun goes. Enjoy the race day experience & chilling out aftermath!