This sunday many of us are taking on the Sydney Half Marathon event. For many of us this is our first attempt of this great race. The course has a notorious ‘back end’ with the last 5km’s up hill and let me assure you the urban legends of characters that have ‘died in the ass’ on the course are many. Sunday’s race will be a good preparation event for the Gold Coast Marathon later in the year.
Here’s some racing advice…
Hydration – Start at least 72 hours before the race. Don’t leave it until the night before.
Eating – Eat high carbohydrate foods, especially over the last 48 hours. E.g. rice, pasta, bread, oats.
Sleep – Try to get quality sleep especially the second last night before the race.
Stay positive in the lead-up to the race. Remember that you can only race with what you’ve done in the preparation. So don’t get stressed about the ‘long runs’ that you’ve missed or mornings that you stayed in bed like a skeif. It’s common for people to talk themselves into a bad race before they’ve even started. You’ll hear – “Oh I’ve got a sore throat,” “I haven’t done enough training for this” or “me back’s playing up like a second-hand sea-doo.” This is all rubbish chat. Remember that you are doing the race because that’s what you want to be doing and just get out there and run tough. Stop tearing me!
Post race advice:
Hydration – Keep the fluids up, sports drinks are good. Sodium and sugars need replacing.
Eating – Salty. Salt will help your body retain fluid. E.g pizza, kebab. You’ll also find that after the pre-race carb load, sugary gels and sports drinks this will be a welcome change.
If possible – take some protein/carb powder to mix right after the race, same as after training. General rule is to take on 30g of protein and 40g of carbs.
1-2 days after:
Soreness permitting, take a walk or do a bike ride. I like to stand in the cold sea water at Bondi and pretend I play for the Roosters. It’s a good idea to find still water if you don’t want get a wet jumper. (Make sure you wear Rugby League or Aussie Rules shorts, tattoos preferred).
The week after race:
Take training really easy. After a half marathon you should take at least 1-2 weeks of light training. A big mistake many people commit is training too hard, too soon after a race. Especially common if you have a great run, they are fired up about how good they are going, the tendency is to try to capitalise on your stellar recent form by ‘training the house down’ for the next event. These people are usually cooked by wednesday. Every bit of racing output requires an adequate amount of rest. The best thing to do is – Listen to your body.
Road Racing Recovery – rule of thumb:
1 day rest per 1 mile raced.
5km (3 mile) – 3 days
10km (6 mile) – 6 days
Half Marathon (13 mile) – 13 days
Marathon (26 mile) – 26 days
This is not to say sit around like a broke man at a bus stop or go on a Ben Cousins style bender. Do light training, recovery exercises and stretching. Get on the foam roller, go for a swim or walk on the beach. Get your body management plan organised and implement it the second you cross the finish line.
The next race beckons.