Mike Jones’ Expert Guide to Race Preparation
1. Think about the race distance, e.g. for a half marathon try to cover all aspects of the race. This means getting used to running for 13.1 miles, coping with hills if the course is hilly, and being “comfortable” at half marathon pace by doing training runs faster and shorter than 13 miles. Running 10k’s is a great preparation for the race.
2. Have your longest run around 2 weeks before the race and use the last week as a taper week reducing mileage but retaining quality runs (session or paced runs). During the taper week leave out weights and circuit training.
3. Plan your time up to the race. For a morning race eat a good breakfast well before the race (approx 3 hours) and top up with banana or energy drink (get used to what works best for you). Running a half marathon will burn approximately 1300 calories. Take on fluid at each drinks station to minimise dehydration, especially on a long race.
4. Get to the race in good time to allow for parking, registration and warming up. The shorter the race the greater the warm up, as you will run faster!
5. Keep warm kit on until you need to race and put kit back on ASAP after finishing. On a very cold day you may wish to run in a long sleeve (technical) top.
6. Run your own race and try not to get carried away with the masses and enjoy. Use mile/kilometre markers to see how you are pacing the race, but run to a feeling.