Training: Top tips for race day
Team Starfish member, Lesley Colman, has taken on a 12 in 12 challenge for the charity this year and has been completing 12 half marathons in 12 months!
With Lesley now quite familiar with preparing for an event, here are her top tips she's picked up along the way.

"If you are a first timer to any race event I hope you find the advice helpful, and it guides you so you are standing at the start line in a calm state and not a bag of nerves! If you are a seasoned runner, it’s always good to refresh yourselves once in a while. So here goes..."

Top tips for race day

  • The night before lay all your kit out and ensure you have everything you need for every type of weather. Even if it says it is going to be warm during the race you will still need those gloves and hoodie/charity shop top when you are standing around. Check you have your race number/bib. And then check again. And again. Take it from somebody who travelled 100 miles and forgot, and then went into a complete meltdown!! You do not want to be using precious energy emotionally rather than physically. Please be assured though that if this does happen to you the end is not nigh – there are usually a number of spare numbers that can be bought if you get to the information tent very early. 
  • Charge your running watch the night before too... important if you rely on it heavily like me. However, don’t leave on charge overnight as with some brands this can have the opposite effect and reduce the battery life. 
  • The recommendation is to complete any consumption of food or drink two hours prior to the start of the race. This allows your body to process it and allow it to be released (again you get the drift!). It also eliminates the need to have a personal needs break during the race. You want your mind on your running and enjoying the race – not where the next portaloo is. Again, any pre-race food and drink will have been tried and tested during training.
  • Obviously, you have arrived at the race venue calm and collected as you listened to my advice and planned travel arrangements beforehand 😊 You may have some butterflies, or be a ‘doubting Thomas’, but all this is perfectly natural, especially if it’s your first ever race event and you don’t know what to expect. Use this nervous energy by doing a warm up and slowly running it off. This also prevents you from talking to other people who are nervous – their comments may just end up tipping you over the edge instead!!
  • Arrive with plenty of time to go to the toilet (twice!), put your bag in the baggage area (expecting queues) and to do a warm up. A warm up is essential – a mile will be ok, incorporating some dynamic moves such as high knees, heel flicks and sprints for 10 seconds or so. Your muscle memory will now be tuned in to what is expected of it in the next 15 minutes or so and again your body will thank you for being prepared. 
  • Before you place your bag in the baggage area make sure you have everything you will need during the race – water/energy products/watch/lucky bracelet (me!)/handkerchief/sunglasses/hat.
  •  Line up at the start about 10-15 minutes before the start time. If there are timing pens or pacers (these are runners who will help you achieve your desired time and are identified by a flag sticking out of a backpack), locate the time you would like to achieve and stand within the area. 
  • And then you are off, with a smile on your face and a positive mental attitude. You can do this……..and remember ‘Pain is temporary, achievement is forever’ 😊

To read Lesley's tips on preparing for an event, click here.




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