Running is an absolutely fabulous individual sport which is relatively cheap and doesn’t require learning a set of rules or other people to do it, and it’s proven to boost your physical and mental health in all sorts of ways. You don’t want to gasp for breath a few kilometers into the race if you have no well prepared for it!
Final Hours Running Tips To Help You Become A Better Runner
As with everything in life, it pays to prepare. If you’re getting into running race with no goal of winning or finishing within some time range that could simply mean how well you have been preparing for the run!
In last few hours before your big running race it’s the final workouts, meals, mental preparations and logistical plans in the 24-hour window before your race, that will help transform all that hard graft into a fantastic performance.
1. Adopt your best routine
- These final hours are about routine. What have you done the day before your best long runs? Stick with what you know.
- Try this: Keep a training diary noting down your nutrition, hydration, rest and training patterns before goal races and long runs.
- Check the correlation with your best performances….and replicate!
- Get your kit ready early and know you logistics for the race start.
2.Get Well dehydration
- Consciously think about your hydration strategy.
- Try this: Aim for 2-3 liters of fluids the day before the race, ideally water with electrolytes such as HIGH5 Zero.
- Avoid alcohol until after your race and aim to sip throughout the day.
- Don’t leave it to last minute and gulp it all down before bed.
3.Reduce training intensity to enable good recovery
- Maintain some less frequency in your running in race week, to keep your legs ticking over.
- Try this: Consider a very short, easy 20 minute run 24 hours before the race.
- The more experienced might even add 2-3 sets of ‘strides’ picking up your pace to about 80% of maximum for around 80 meters.
4.Calm your nerves -reduce tension
- We all manage stress differently- some will be telling their family about the race while others will be kicking stuff around but all in all the final 24 hours is to manage your emotions and save some adrenaline for race day.
- Try this: Warn your family, friends or racing partners that you might be a little irrational and that you will be looking for a bit of time and space in those final 24 hours to be with your own thoughts, and race plan.
- Even if you’re a talker, do take some time to be with your own thoughts that will help you focus – the race is about you, after all.
- Get your nutrition right in those final 24 hours. We cannot stress this enough.
- If you under eat now through distraction or nerves, and dig an energy hole, it’s game over tomorrow before you start.
- Try this: After taking in 10-12g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight over the last 2 days, the final 24 hours is about maintenance.
- Snack and graze throughout the day and don’t go more than 3 hours without topping up with something small.
- Don’t leave yourself empty and stuff yourself with pasta in the evening – you’ll feel heavy and bloated tomorrow.
- Snacking on HIGH5 Energy Bars or sipping Energy Drink are perfect options – not too much fibre and not too heavy.
5.Believe in yourself
- Look back over your training dairy and remind yourself of those top 3-4 sessions or races that you nailed.
- We all miss training at times and sessions don’t always go to plan.
- Remind yourself of what you HAVE in the bank, not what you’ve missed.
- You’re as ready as you ever will be.
- The first item on your shopping list should be a good-quality pair of running shoes. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending a huge amount of money, but it does mean spending some time working out what the right pair for you is.
- First, consider where you’re going to be running and buy shoes that will be suitable for the terrain. If most of your training is off-road, then road shoes with built-up heels are unsuitable because you will be more unstable and could turn an ankle.
- Similarly, a pair of trail running shoes with deeply studded outsoles will be very uncomfortable on paved roads, because the studs will press into the soles of your feet.
- The two main types of road running shoes are neutral and stability shoes, with the latter designed for runners who overpronate (roll their foot excessively inwards on landing).
- If you’re not sure if you overpronate, it might be worth getting your gait analyzed.
7. Go For A Trial Run
- Buying your running shoes is a big investment – so you should always test any shoes properly before buying them.
- Padding around on a carpet in the shop certainly won’t replicate how the shoes will feel when you’re running in them. Instead, you should “road test” them on an in-store treadmill.
8. Select Smarter Socks
- Always wear the socks that you intend to run in when you go for a shoe fitting.
- The thickness of your sock can make a big difference to the fit and feel of your shoe, particularly as your feet expand in the heat.
- Runners should wear running-specific socks because they have extra padding across the ball of the foot, the toes and the heel area. This extra padding cuts down on impact and protects important areas that can blister.
- There’s also usually padding or a tighter area through the arch to allow the shoe to fit more closely and add better arch support.
9. 18. Know Your Limits
You don’t have to smash the race,,Intense interval sessions to get away from the crowd and long runs to catch up on lost time are important pillars of a training plan but too much too often during the race will fatigue you physically and mentally.
10. Read About NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION
- Carbohydrate and fat are the key sources of energy for runners.
- You’ll burn more of the former when running at a moderate or fast pace, or running for a long time, and more of the latter when chugging along at an easy pace.
- It’s important to make sure that you are eating enough to fuel your training, and eating at the right times, especially in the build-up to a big race.
11.Get enough rest and recovery prior to the race
- Swimming provide an excellent environment in which to conduct a recovery session
- Water provides buoyancy and resistance properties that allow you to complete training with minimal impact on the body.
- Experts recommend completing a 20-minute pool-based recovery session the day after a tough training session or event.
12. Get More Sleep
- Sleep is one of the most important forms of rest and provides time for you to adapt to the physical and mental demands of training
- Try and get 8hrs of sleep prior to the race.
- Lack of Sleep deprivation can result in a loss of performance, both from a single bad night’s sleep and from an accumulation of poor sleep over the course of successive nights. Cutting back on your sleep over the course of a week could push you into sleep debt and negatively impact performance.” Aim for at least seven but preferably eight or nine hours a night.
13.Get quality Sport Sunglasses
- Quality sunglasses are important both for your eyes as well as for minimizing fatigue from staring into the brightness.
- No fog, no slip, polarized athletic sunglasses are the best option for you during the race
- You don’t have to break the bank buying running sunglasses– remember they’re going to get sweaty and grimy.
- Save the fashion (and some cash) for your after-run shades.
14.Buy Waterproof Running Watch
- Every runner needs a watch that’s just a bit more sophisticated than an analog timepiece with a second hand.
- While you may not need the latest and greatest GPS or smartwatch, having a running watch that can chime intervals will be useful in your marathon training. You’ll also likely want a watch that has “split” or “lap” time features so you can get feedback about your pacing.
- Whether or not you need data like altitude, acceleration, or calorie burn is up to you.
- One other thing to think about if you’re a midlife marathoner: make sure you get a watch with large numbers. Your eyes will thank you as you try to read your times while on the run.
14.Get a Running Belt if necessary
- Even in organized half marathons and marathons with high-quality aid stations, every runner needs to be prepared to carry their own nutrition and other necessities.
- Race belts are the easiest way to stash your stuff for a long run. Whether you prefer a purely stretchy design or a buckle-and-clasp is personal preference.
- The best part is that if you get a race belt you love, you won’t need a separate water bottle holder or phone holder.