5 Tips for the day before a big race!
Have you ever sat on the sofa the day before a race and felt ‘frumpy’. This article will take you through 5 Pre-Race Tips I like to tell runners to prepare them the day before a race.
To perform at top peak performance, 6 simple things should be adhered to the day before the race:
1: Do not over do it
When you feel ‘frumpy’ and low, you may want to put in one last session ‘just in case’. More often than not, this is a mistake. IN the end, you may feel better mentally, which as we know is great, but you may also burn up that reserve of glycogen needed for the big day.
Spend the time wisely to help relax. have a bit of ‘you’ time. When you go to pick up your race number, have a little look around, but don’t spend hours in the race village. You do not want to waste all that energy stored by walking around on your feet. If you have trained correctly, you are not going to lose your fitness, trust me.
Reading books (yes even the running magazine) and listening to music or even a spot of gentle foam rolling may be a great way to help unwind and relax the body.
As an athlete, even at low level, you already know that you need to take in more fluids. Not just water, but a healthy balance of nutrient based and electrolyte base drinks.
Have a look at your pee, it should be a nice light yellow. Experts suggest 8 glasses of water per day to keep hydrated, but if running or training, more is needed.
Remember, over-hydration can be just as detrimental though as we saw in the 2018 London Marathon where Johanna Pakenham, was in a coma following too much water. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5718535/London-Marathon-runner-left-fighting-life-coma-drinking-water.html)
3: Race Preparation
Race day can be very very stressful. You will have enough to think about on the day such as traffic, possible road blocks to contend with and finding the best spot in your wave group for starting. To help ensure you are best prepared, get everything you can organised the day before.
Start by thinking about when you were at school.
- Laying out your clothes the night before and then the rest:
- get your safety pins ready or Event Clips (https://www.facebook.com/eventclip.net)
- Charge your watch
- Sun Cream
- Timing chip if provided.
- Anti-chafing products
- Gels and other fuels.
I have seen many people pick up a race gel at Race Village the day before or even on the day, and then use that as the fuel. Big mistake! Use what you have trained with and nothing else. You have no idea how it will make you feel and you may make og:more stops than you wish to those every beautiful portaloos!
This is the same for breakfast. Regardless if you have travelled to the other side of the country and checked into a swanky hotel. If you eat something different, you may have regrets.
Lastly with preparation, toe nails! No one wants to see the ugly runners toe following an event. If you have long nails, they are more likely to strike the shoe and cause pain or even a loss. Trim to ensure less foot pain, also less gruesome pictures!
on the run up to your big event (more marathon distance), at least 70 to 80 percent of your calory intake should be from carbohydrates.
You do not have to be a stricked as some, who eat nothing more than rice for breakfast lunch and dinner. Great things to incorporate into your diet is oatmeal, whole breads, pancakes, bagels and even yogurt. All very easy to digest too!
Carbo-loading is all about eating the right foods, not as many thing, overloading on food. 4 grams of carbs per every pound of weight is a good way to help work out what you should consume. Remember though, the night before, do not over do it.
When it comes to adding things to your high carb meals, try to steer away from high fat foods, sauces and too much protein. The aim is to have plenty of carbs which the body will be converting into glycogen for fuel.
5: Strategic Planning
When you register, a lot of race organisers will email or send out a map of the route. Study this! If it is not sent out, look on the website for the event, ask friends, or if you are race village the day before picking up race numbers, ask for one then.
This will help do some mental planning and build a good strategy. A lot of runners I have spoken to will plan out toilets, water stations, food station, big hills and these all become mini races. The first race in your head may be to get to the first big hill, then to race again to the water station etc etc.
Driving the route is another great way to help you visualise it all, again making mental notes of all the points important.
What is next?
Hopefully this article will help you get through the final days running up to your big event, and hopefully you will run a lot better with true focus and determination.
We are here to help every step of the way from niggling pain, pre-race massages (normally 3-4 days prior), or post-race massage (2 days post race). Feel free to follow us more on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SportsPhysioUkOldham).