With just a few days until the Bristol half marathon, here are a few top tips for anyone running it (or any race really), from Martin at Moti in Bristol:
- In the last few days relax and try not to run too much. For a half marathon I would do no more than 3 runs in the week before and no more than 5 – 6 miles at a steady pace to make sure the legs are as fresh as possible but not heavy from not running.
- The day before hydrate well and get a good nights sleep to ensure your body is in the best possible condition for the race its self. As for nutrition this is a complex subject and one which will be different for everyone – personally I don’t do anything different nutrition wise the day before (I don’t carbo-load as I don’t think it works for me but that’s not to say that it wont work for you.)
- On the day, breakfast is the same as I would have on any other day just a bit smaller. Don’t try anything new or different, stick to what you have eaten ahead of any other longer runs you’ve done.
- The warm up is a very important part of the race as it gets you mentally and physically prepared for the run. It also reduces the risk of injury as the muscle systems are ready for strenuous exercise.
- Start the race slowly and build up your pace – its always tempting to get to the front and get some clear air but you may end up going off too fast and burning out and be disappointed with your performance. Aim for a negative split on your run so you finish the last half of the race faster than the first – not only will this give you a good chance of a PB but it also gives you confidence in your ability’s to do the race again or go further.
- After the race warm down and stretch. A good 15-30 mins worth of post race stretching will help prevent the DOMS (delayed on set muscle stiffness) setting in and it also reduces the risk of any injuries forming. Refuel your body with fluids (electrolytes) and food in particular protein and carbs.
- The day after try to get a swim or a bike ride or a small jog just to shake the legs out and aid the recovery.