||“Getting it right on the day”
road running performances are finally measured by your time in an
official road race. It goes to say therefore that you must
perform at your best on the particular day you have nominated. My
experience has been over the years that some have got it right and most
don’t get it right. The latter runners are those who excel in
training runs and weekend club runs but fail to reproduce the same form
on race day. Most participants in a race have prepared in a very
similar way, according to their level of ability, to a recommended
improve your chances of getting it right on the day there are several
factors to consider. First of all ask yourself if you are
entitled to be running this race. Have you honestly done the
recommended training and have you performed recently at races of
similar distances. Some runners live in the past and remember their PB
(personal best) at the distance you are going for but fail to recognise
that the PB was done a year or more ago. Look back at your
records and confirm that you are at the same point for distance and
speed as you were at the time you ran previously. If not, you
adjust your target time accordingly for this upcoming race.
ready for a nominated race combines your recent habits during the last
few weeks with your habits on the last one or two days before the race.
The needs of each runner is different in the build up before a
marathon or more. Some need a taper of effort during the last
week and maybe a complete rest for up to 3 days. Others like to run
continuously up to race day but reduce the distance and concentrate on
a few short fast runs. You need to find out what suits you.
day before a race is vital. There are all the arrangements to make for
maybe travel and accommodation. The better runners plan well in advance
and choose all the facilities that suit them such as where you stay,
how you travel and with whom. Make absolutely sure you are aware
of all the times and places you have to be for the start. It is
advisable to research the race as well as you can by talking to other
runners and consulting Runners Guide or the race website.
Forewarned is forearmed.
run a good race you have to consider unemotionally exactly what you
have to offer against the prescribed race route. Put another way,
what are you capable of tomorrow on that course. No dreams, no "I
will see on the day", no "I will see how I feel at halfway", no "I will
run with a friend to pull me along"! You must commit before you
run a sensible race you have to manage your pace judgement and your
time management. As you line up you must be sure how fast you can
run for the whole distance and adjust your speed for each part of the
race accordingly. Start off very slowly if it is a long race over
a distance you have not run before. If it is a shorter distance that
you are familiar with, you can set off confidently at a familiar speed.
Time management includes the walking and running times you allow. It
also includes your expected stops at pit stops and waiting for
friends. For example, on a notorious hilly route you may well
allocate a generous walking time allowance. For a very long run
like Comrades you must inevitably build in a walking allowance that
will increase as the day wears on.
night before a race must be a familiar ritual for eating, resting,
drinking and sleeping. Everyone is different. Choose the one that suits
you ignoring what others think. The
same applies to the wake up in the morning and the short time before
the race. You must focus on your breakfast which is recommended for
Comrades and other ultras. Toilet requirements must be available when
required. A runner must start off well hydrated and start
drinking early on. Carbohydrate needs and water must be strictly
adhered to, in particular, on long hot runs. The build up races before
a big event such as Two Oceans and Comrades can all be used to practice
the schedule for getting it right on the day.
all things, make sure you are going for a time that you are entitled to
do for this particular race. Get used to being a successful racer . You
will be the envy of all your fellow club members.
External links: Official Comrades Marathon