At this stage you have done the miles, closed your eyes and crossed you fingers as you signed up for your half marathon. Every time I do this as I click
register I get butterflies and that pang of self doubt. Then I tell myself that even though I am not the fastest or most graceful runner I can get the work done. It is a bit of the hare and the tortoise scenario for me…..just one foot in front of the other.
So the week before the big race means that you have to get your gear together. Try not to try anything for the first time on race day. Break your shoes in well in advance, make sure your socks and tights wont rub and you have already tried running with the same kind of breakfast you will consume on the morning before the race.
I have created a little bit of a check list and some of my favourite tried and true products.
The tech gear:
My Garmin Forerunner 220 is perfect for the person that wants a simple to use device that measures, kilometres, calorie expenditure and pace. For me the only thing I want to think about on the day is my pace. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and burn yourself out by not running your own race. Keep track of a comfortable but challenging pace that you can maintain in your training runs and stick to it. I don’t go out there to win the race but rather to prove to myself that I can do it.
Think comfortable and moisture wicking. I do not recommend cotton as it holds moisture and can easily rub. My favourite tights are Lorna Jane as they fit me perfectly and have a tie up waist so they don’t slip around. I normally run in a singlet that has good size arm holes so that it doesn’t rub under my arms. I am also very picky with the socks that i choose to wear and have found an expensive but excellent brand that really lasts. If you want comfort and a great fit check out: Thorlo Experia Coolmax Micro-Mini Socks.
Finally for us girls make sure you have a great fitting sports bra. There is nothing worse than bouncing your way over a half marathon course….ouch!
Remember to take a warm old jumper that you can wear before the race so that you are not freezing and stiff before the start.
Every girl needs her accessories:
On the day I decide between wearing either a visor or headband because nothing irritates me more than hair, sun or sweat in your face. I always run with my sunglasses because I am super sensitive to the glare and would like to actually take in the views.
The pre race breakfast and post race hydration:
I am rarely able to drink much fluid during a race as I suffer from stitches so I ensure that as soon as I get up I try to drink at least 500ml of water. My breakfast is about 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 banana with 1 medjool date and a sprinkle of cinnamon soaked overnight. This works for me but make sure that you have tried running with this kind of breakfast before. It is also super important that the day before you are well hydrated…..as I am writing this I am sipping away at water. Carry your drink bottle with you all day so that you don’t forget. I hate drinking from plastic so I carry my purefree bottle everywhere. After the race I drink loads of water and a coconut water because I hate the taste of super sweet electrolyte drinks.
Lastly be positive, hold your head high and get the work done. It is not about the fastest person in the race but rather the energy you bring to the challenge.
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