Countdown to a 10k run
Two weeks before a 10k race much of the hard work has been done and you should be raring to go as you enter final preparation phase. Now is the time to wind the training down and focus on pre-event preparation.
For the perfect performance, be prepared, and do the following in the final week:
– Taper down training so stick to 2 to 3 easy runs, with the final run being no less than 3 days prior to the event itself. This ensures that your muscles aren’t over-tired and you’re fresh and ready to run.
– You’ll not hear me say this too often but ‘you need to eat more carb’s’. If you can just increase the amount of pasta, potatoes or rice you eat 3 days prior to the race it will make all the difference and ensure your muscles are full of energy to propel you around the 10k run on the big day! However, still make sure you’re combining this with protein (fish, chicken, eggs, nuts etc).
– Ok so this is something you may hear me say a little more often: ‘drink plenty of water’. Now I’m not going to write an essay on the benefits of staying hydrated for optimal race performance… However I will say this… Research shows there is a 10% decrease in performance for every 1% loss in body fluids. So get out the Volvic! And if you want to spice it up a little then hot water with lemon and a cinnamon stick is delicious.
– Make sure you have the right sportswear – lightweight running gear and decent trainers. It’s probably not best to buy a new pair of trainers so close to the event. Stick to the ones you have been training in (unless they have holes in them!), as new trainers need time to be ‘broken in’.
– Get at least 8 hours sleep in the run up to the race – so ideally 4 days before get to bed earlier than usual.
– Be at the start of the race with half an hour to spare. Take traffic and public transport delays into account. This ensures you’re relaxed and stress-free, and will have a much more enjoyable experience.
Your best race strategy on the day:
– Now although the athlete inside you all will be shouting ‘sprint you fool’ as you make your way across the start line, remember your race strategy. The training you have carried out will mean you have a good idea of the time you want to achieve and the pace you need to go at (minutes per kilometre) to make this a reality, so ensure you have a stopwatch to stay on track.
– It’s really easy to get carried away with the crowd and end up burning out too soon. Very often you’ll see plenty of runners zooming off at the start only to end up passing them a few kilometres into the race. Be comfortable with your initial pace – then if possible aim to build up your pace in the second half of the race.
– If you can, partner up with someone who is a similar pace to you. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and is also a fantastic motivation to keep going.
– It can be easy to load on the pressure, and become too focussed on achieving a time, rather than enjoying the race itself. Whilst targets are great to have, feel proud that you are taking part, and soak up the atmosphere.
What to do after you’ve crossed the finish line:
– Pat yourself on the back – you have completed the course and are more than likely feeling a little tired, but also a huge sense of achievement and rush of endorphins. Now is the time to go with your friends to a friendly eating establishment and fuel up with good food – you deserve it!
– Be careful to have a few days rest afterwards so your muscles can repair. If you can, ideally enjoy a relaxing massage the following day, as this will help the repair and feel flippin’ fantastic!
– Another year done – make sure you get yourself on the email list to sign up for 2011. There’s never a better time than the present.
If you have any of your own hints and tips, or comments on the above please post a reply below.