The Run Up To A Race...

3 watchers
Nov 2021
3:22pm, 17 Nov 2021
1997 posts
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First race?

There is only one piece of advice I always try to give:

Don't forget to smile as you cross the finish line!
Nov 2021
3:53pm, 17 Nov 2021
4254 posts
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1st race - just take it all in and learn from it. Don't try to over analyse things - just enjoy and get ready to book another one.

What I do:

* Reduce running (taper) in the days before to a easy pace a about 1/3 distance
* Try to prioritise sleeping during the week because I never sleep well the night before and banking sleep helps.
* Hydrate lots during the week - on the day or even only the day before is not enough. We are mostly water so being properly hydrated helps - some of us forget to drink when it gets cooler.
* If it's a big race - I have a treat planned for afterwards - be that a massage a couple of days after or a meal same day / next day.

Standard things:

- don't try anything new on the race day - like gels, new shoes / socks etc. You should be used to anything you use to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

- blister plasters are nice to have in your race bag as well as comfy socks / change of / warm clothes / flask of tea etc. depending on race facilities

Good luck - come back and let us know how it went & if you might change anything for next time. Other 1st timers may find that useful insight.
Nov 2021
5:49pm, 17 Nov 2021
36 posts
  • 0
Thanks for all of the pointers.
I’m probably overthinking it a bit as I used to race a bit on the bike so had a bit of a routine for that. Trying the same for running will probably kill me!

I know that I feel like I’ve got lead legs after a few days not running or riding so I may try a gentle run or ride out Saturday if I’m feeling it.

I’ll attempt to start out steadily and not blow up in the first half of the race but rather stupidly I always get competitive with things like this which isn’t great 😂
Nov 2021
8:03pm, 17 Nov 2021
23747 posts
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Consider having a walk rather than a run the day before.

Start further back than you think you should be.

Allow extra toilet time.

Good luck, have fun :-)
Nov 2021
8:57pm, 17 Nov 2021
7568 posts
  • 0
Surrey Phil
Some people prefer to run in the build up to keep loose. I tend to only walk for a few days after my final taper. Experts say that you won't gain anything by squeezing in those extra runs unless you use them to relax the nerves.

In the last few days, don't stand if you can sit and don't sit if you can lie down. I can't remember who said it but it was something that has stuck with me since my first marathon training event.
Nov 2021
12:36pm, 18 Nov 2021
16076 posts
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Definitely +1 for Dvorak's advice about starting further back than you think you should be. At worst you might lose a few seconds overall but it just stops you over-cooking the first half a mile or so as you try to get a sense of who you are really racing against.

This might also be obvious, and isn't advice you can use for this weekend, but if you can, get down to a few parkruns to test out racing strategies. I know they are a run not a race, but you can play around with pacing, positioning, sprint finishing, progression of pace, surging etc in a parkrun and develop some experience.
Nov 2021
11:42am, 22 Nov 2021
37 posts
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Just an update on the race.

I followed loads of the advice here, prepared my kit the night before, had a nice early breakfast then started pretty much at the back.
The race itself was great fun, started steady and picked it up when I could in the second half.
It would be fair to say that the race was uneventful as in nothing actually went wrong!
My biggest take-away from it is that I can plod along quite happily but I don't have any speed in my legs at all!

Basically, the advice from Fetchies was spot on!
Nov 2021
12:05pm, 22 Nov 2021
23159 posts
  • 0
:) that’s good to hear, gt

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About This Thread

Maintained by gt
I'm entered in my first race at the weekend, a 10k trail race.
How do people usually prepare for races?
Do you run the day before just to stretch the legs?
Do you just do nothing in the day prior to it?

I'm not going to be bothering the leaders, hopefully not the back markers either, but I still want to put in a decent performance.

Any advice?

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