- Plan your fuel - I don’t usually eat before I run in the morning but the distance and the extra time everything takes means I need to eat on race day. On Sunday I had a small bowl of cereal with soy milk and a black coffee about 2.5 hrs before the start time. That’s enough time for digestion to get started before the running does. Try not to eat anything you’ve never tried before as you don’t know how your body will take it.
- Arrive early - you don’t want to add to your stresses by arriving to the event as you need to be lining up. There are usually queues for bag drop and toilets and parking may take longer than you think. There were loads of loos in Hyde Park on Sunday but I still had to wait ages!
- Stick to the plan - during your training you should have worked out what pace you want to go at. I was aiming for 1:50 so knew I needed to run at about 5:10 per kilometre. Again, plan nutrition. I don’t use gels or anything for a half marathon but try them out in your training to see if you want to use them.
- Stretch and refuel afterwards - I almost always forget this! There’s so much going on at the end and you’re so pleased to have finished that stretching gets forgotten. I remembered on Sunday and felt pretty much fine on Monday. I always bring my own snacks to refuel but you usually get given free goodies. I recommend a vfuel protein shake to hydrate and support muscle recovery as well as dried fruit for some sugar. My stomach can’t take too much too quickly after a long run so I eat little and often for the rest of the day.
- Enjoy - if you’re like me then you may put pressure on yourself to achieve certain times. All the hard work leads to one chance to get a good time. Be organised and you’re more likely to enjoy it, stick to your plan and you should run the time you’re capable of. And if you’re slower than you want to be or something goes wrong? Well, there’s always next time.
I hope these tips help. What do you find helpful on race day? Or what is a mistake you’ve learnt from? Let me know, comment below!