Post # 1
I am doing my first ever half marathon this Sunday (yey!) and am currently tapering my training but I am just wondering if any of you had some top tips on last minute preparation.
What are best foods to eatin the days leading up to the race? Carbs work well for me the night before but should I start carbing up before then? The race starts at 10:00 so I will need to eat beforehand and I know a boiled egg and banana works for me but would something else be better or should I stick with what I know?
Also as our weather forecast is currently showing rain and reeeallllyyy cold temperatures what should I wear at the start?? I get hot really quickly so don’t want to wear much after I have got going but obviously I don’t want my limbs to fall off from the cold while waiting at the start.
Post # 3
I actually carbo-load 2 days before the race, not the night before. If you eat too many carbs the night before, your body may not have enough time to properly digest everything.
Is there someone who can take your stuff at the start of the race? That’s the easiest way. If not, I’ve seen people wear trashbags and then throw them away right before they start. Usually, I’ll wear more layers while I’m checking in, warming up, etc. Then put the extra layers back in the car (or my gear bag) 5-10 minutes before the race starts and just suck up for those 5-10 minutes.
Post # 4
DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING UP THE DAY OF THE RACE OR THE NIGHT BEFORE!! Eat like you normally would the night before and the morning of. Carbo load 2 days before and get a good night’s sleep 2 days before (this is actually more important than the night before).
If you’ve trained with nutrition on long runs, use that (gels, Gu Chomps, etc), otherwise, nothing new race day!!
As for clothing – wear layers. Make sure your warm/top layers are things you wouldn’t mind peeling off and throwing on the side of the road, never to be seen again. Nothing worse than being too hot because you overdressed.
Good luck, you’re gonna have a blast!! 🙂
Post # 5
Treat the race exactly how you treated long training runs. No new foods, no new clothes, no new pre-run rituals.
10am seems like a bit of a late start, so you might want to eat breakfast early-ish and then have a pre-run snack (whatever you’re used to eating/drinking before training runs).
As for the temperature, I like to wear a pair of long socks on my arms (cut the toes off so they’re more like sleeves) and as I warm up, I roll them down. When I get hot, I pitch them. That way I’m not carrying any additional clothing during my race, and they’re much cheaper than those fancy-schmancy sleeve things I see other runners wearing.
Good luck on Sunday- you’ll do great! Remember to warm up, stretch a little, have FUN! Start out slow; it’s easy to start off too fast with the nerves & excitement of race day. Take it easy, pace yourself, and definitely report back to let us know how you did 🙂
Post # 6
Try to avoid lots of dairy products for the 3 days before the race. Carbo load 2 days prior (as others have stated). For my last meal, I like grilled chicken breast with brown rice. My late night snack is a PB&J sandwich. Breakfast is a banana and toast with peanut butter and a very light drizzle of honey. Drink lots of fluids. Seriously. Hydrate today for tomorrow. Also, slow down and drink at EVERY aid station, even if it’s just a sip or two.
If it’s going to rain or drizzle, it might be a good idea to wear a hat or visor of some sort. Try it out on your next run and see how it feels. You may also want to consider a rain slicker (the clear, super thin kind) if its pouring out. Otherwise, avoid cotton (it absorbs water) and stick to synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics for all your attire. Bring a throw-away sweatshirt for warm-up and the first mile or so. If you have a gear bag, throw in a extra shirt/sweater and dry socks to change in to after the race.
While you may want to curl up and sleep for a week after you finish, take a few minutes and stretch thoroughly post-race. Then stretch again throughout the day. Your legs will thank you.
That’s it! Good luck to you; it’s going to be amazing when you cross that finish line!!
Post # 7
like PPs have said, never do anything new right before/during a race. if the egg and banana works for you, stick with it. 🙂 I always set out all my stuff the night before a race and then set the alarm for 2 hours before the start. as soon as I’m up, I drink a cup or two of coffee to get things moving so I can go before I leave the house instead of waiting to use the porta potties at the race start. 😉
if I don’t have someone coming with me that can hold my stuff, I wear a trashbag that I can just throw away as soon as we get started going. my gloves and headband are small enough that I can either clip them to my spi belt (if you don’t have something like that, I would highly recommend it) or shove them in when I get too warm.
good luck and have fun! 🙂
Post # 8
Start hydrating 2 days before!!! Most important advice I received!
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for your advice, you have no idea how much it helps. I think for reassurance as much as anything
I will be sure to let you know how I get on, I am massively excited now and cannot wait to get out there!!
Post # 10
@PimmsBride: Bumping for an update- OP: How’d it go?
Post # 11
@DaneLady: Well other than some absolutly horrific weather it was great fun! My finish time was 2hr19 which isn’t fantastic but as my aim was to run the whole thing and not walk or stop at any point (which I managed to do ) rather than focus on time I am quite pleased. The supporters were amazing and the run finished in a football stadium so I felt like I was in the Olympics haha.
There is only one problem now…. I want to do it again!!! I loved it far too much so am aleady researching my next h/m!
Also, just so you can see how bad the weather was… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295261/Thousands-battle-terrible-conditions-compete-washout-Reading-Half-Marathon.html
Post # 12
@PimmsBride: AHHHH! Congrats 🙂 My first half marathon was 2:14, and not in terrible conditions, so I’d say you did a fantastic job! It is a bit addictive, no?
Post # 13
@DaneLady: haha when I finished my exact words were “I am never going through that again”. Famous last words!
I have just signed myself up for another in May and am determined to improve my finish time and this time I am going to actually stick to my traning plan.
I don’t think I would do a marathon though, I train on my own and it just gets soooo boring running around with just myself for company!
Out of curiosity, how many half marathons have you done and how did you imporve your pb?
Post # 14
Cut out fiber 2 days prior- no whole grains or broccoli. Carb loading the day prior has been shown to not make a difference. If you’re running in 2 hours or less, you really don’t need to carb load at all.
Post # 15
Congrats! That’s not a bad time at all. Great tips, too. I’m running my 5th in a few weeks and will add some of these onto my training/prep. 🙂
Post # 16
@PimmsBride: Congratulations!!! For my first half, I didn’t train well at ALL and I ended up doing a run/walk combo the last 6 miles – finished in 2:31.. Last year I trained much better and finished in 2:10!! My goal this year is to finish under 2 hours.. but this terrible MN winter has wreaked havoc on my training!!
Running road races is definitely addicting!! That’s awesome that you’ve signed up for another one already!! 🙂