It’s the final countdown to tomorrow’s Spar Weekend Witness Ladies 10km and 5km challenges in Alexandra Park.

There is certainly no more training to be done, but that doesn’t mean the preparation if finished. There are many things that you can do to bolster your chances of experiencing a good run, and equally there are as many things you can do that will detract from reaching your true potential.

Here, particularly for beginners, are the top 10 tips for the final 24 hours to the race:

  1. Get as much done the day before so you can relax on race morning. Collect your race number and goodie bag. Pin your number on yur running kit and make sure you put everything out on a chair or the bed ready for the morning. Do everything you can to minimize the things to be done on race morning.
  2. Work out how long it will take you to get to the race, add an extra ten minutes as a safety factor and then set your alarm with enough time to get up, have a light breakfast, drive to the start and an extra 20 minute for a warm up.
  3. Make sure you put out kit that will cater for different weather conditions. On race morning choose something that will leave you slightly chilled when standing at the start. This will be ideal once you start running. If you dress to be warm at the start then you will be over-dressed when the gun goes.  
  4. Do not change your running shoes or over-tighten your laces on race day.. Try to replicate exactly what you have done in training. Make sure you don’t tie the race timing chip into you laces as you need to be able to hand it back at the finish so simply put the chip around your left ankle.
  5. Have a light breakfast when you wake. Try to ensure as many of the products are low GI as possible. So bread, butter and low GI jam with a cup of your drink of choice would probably suffice to keep you sated prior to the race. Try to finish this two hours before the race start.
  6. Take a bottle of water to the start so that you can have a drink in the final hour. Do not drink any sugar drink in the final hour as it will tend to cause a blood sugar spike unless it’s a low GI Drink, so its safer to stick to water. 
  7. Set a target finish time based on your previous training sessions, or a previous race time. Make sure its realistic by allowing for the hills to be climbed on each lap.
  8. Be sure you commence the run at a pace about 10 to 15 seconds slower than the average pace for the first two kilometres. It is always good to start slightly slow and then to increase the pace in the last third of the race.
  9. Remember it is even effort not even pace that provides the best results. His means slower on uphill, faster on downhill.
  10. Don’t be scared to put in a short walk in order to get control of your effort and heart rate.. Even multiple winner and SA top marathoner Tanith Maxwell has walked for 15 seconds or son in races where she has done a personal best time. It’s about pace control

Bonus tip: Oh and finally – whatever you do Enjoy your run!!!  – when you enjoy the run you perform at your best!!

See you tomorrow morning for the 08:00 start and don’t forget that timing chip!

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