Welcome to the fourth and final week of training tips ahead of the Royal Parks Half Marathon which takes place next Sunday! Those of you racing will have just a week to go and so my message to you today is: don’t panic! I often find the week leading up to the race can feel rather stressful, worrying about the training you haven’t done, feeling anxious to run more because you’ve tapered your miles right down. Don’t let your nerves get the better of you, the hard work is done: relax!
You’ve got this!
Check out the video above to see my ‘race day rituals’. I’m hoping you find these useful or at least, help ease your race-day nerves.
- Don’t worry if you’re struggling to sleep in the days leading up to the race. Going to bed at the same time each night helps set a routine and encourage a good night’s sleep. Fitbit’s sleep insights will help you monitor and improve your sleep.
- Stick to the gear you’ve worn in training. Don’t wear anything new on race day, particularly on your feet! It’s simply the most important piece of advice I can give and despite the temptation to wear your ‘new vest’ for the first time it’s really not worth it! I often carry a small tub of Vaseline just in case there are any sore spots that need attention throughout the race but wearing gear you’re used to should prevent the need for that.
- In the past, I have written a message of support or motivational message on my arm; something to remind you to keep going when it gets tough. Perhaps a family member has sent you a ‘good luck’ message. It seems silly but it can give you a much needed boost to read that during the race.
- Keep going! There have been times in races when I truly believed I wouldn’t finish, that the challenge was too great but I did…and you will too. Your body is far more capable than you think so it’s a case of pushing through those feelings of fatigue and pressing on, one step at a time.
- Enjoy it! Within moments of finishing, you’ll want to plan your next race (okay, maybe ‘days’).
Don’t get caught up with nerves beforehand. Soak up the atmosphere and have a great day out.
I have roughly a month to go until my marathon so I now begin a slow and steady taper. It’s a great feeling, knowing the longest mileage weeks are behind me and can now begin to maintain the fitness that has been built in preparation for race day. It’s been such a great season of training but I am looking forward to having more time to go hiking and cycling when I am back in Cape Town.
Good Luck! Go hard, go boldly and go well!