Cardiff Half Marathon Preparation – What should you do?

SO, IT’S THE BUILD UP TO YOUR RACE, HOW DOES THE WEEK BEFORE HAND LOOK?

1) TAPER.
This means that you should be easing off your running. Your long runs should be DONE (7-10 days) before your race (especially if this is a half or full marathon) and you should be reducing the milage in your week. For example if you run 40 miles a week and have a half marathon at the weekend, I probably wouldn’t go over 25 miles for the week INCLUDING your race. The main aim is to recover and let your body adapt and grow stronger to the training that you’ve done. Therefore leaving you fresh, strong and ready for your race!

2) SLEEP.
There’s nothing worse than trying to do anything when you’re tired, never mind push yourself to maximise your race potential! 7-9 hours a night would be ideal. Make your room as dark as possible, put your mobile phone away early, wear an eye mask and keep the room fairly cool are all things that should help with these. (And don’t drink coffee in the afternoon).

3) GET YOUR KIT OUT READY.
Are your running shoes in good condition? Is your running kit washed and ready? Have you got your bag packed with all the essentials – gels, water, vasline/glide, race number and pins, etc? I like to lay out everything the night before on the floor so I know I’m not faffing about on race day.

4) LEAVE EARLY.
Get to the race early. Go for a coffee (and probably a poo) and don’t find yourself rushing around late wasting energy fussing over the toilet and getting into your pen. Bring either a bin bag or some clothes you don’t mind going to the charity shop to wear over your running kit whilst you’re waiting in the pen. I sometimes bring an old fleece that I throw on the side just as the race is going to start This was a Godsend in the Paris half marathon).

5) NUTRITION.
DONT CHANGE ANYTHING DRASTICALLY BEFORE YOUR RACE!!! What do you normally eat before your run? Ok coo, eat that on race day. Don’t make big changes because your tummy won’t thank you for it. Make sure your hydration is sorted (2-3L per day) and make sure you’re eating good quality food including plenty of carbs. if you’re race isn’t over 2 hours I’m not convinced you need to “carb load” but you still need carbs in your diet for energy. Have a big breakfast, big lunch and take on plenty of carbs the day/2days before your race, with a normal sized meal the evening before and a normal sized breakfast a few hours before your race. The day (or two) before should be low fibre and not too much fat either. You don’t want to be stuck on the pan before the race! I give out lots of food suggestions in The Running Community members group but a staple of mine is porridge with water and jam mixed in. I also sip fruit juice or sports drinks (extra carbs), electrolytes and water the day before the race and have a gel just before I run. All of these things should be practiced, so if you haven’t, just have your normal breakfast, plenty of water and run!

So – I hope these tips help you. I appreciate your support and good luck for your next race!

Thanks for reading

Ed Morris

Owner of EDMFitness & The Running Community

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