RULE 6: Take it easy in the week or two before the race with only light runs
If you have managed to follow a training plan, put in the miles and it is now two weeks before the race – well done! You have achieved the hardest part of running a race. Now your final preparation prior to the start will make a difference to your performance.
This part is all about tapering your training up to race day. After all the training to get into optimum race condition this period may feel strange. No more long runs but don’t stop altogether. Stay sharp by planning to do light intensity or race pace runs at shorter distances.
This time is all about recovery from training, repairing any muscle damage and stockpiling energy.
In the week before the race start to prepare your body – clear your diary of social events or late nights the week before and aim to get a good night sleep every night. Two days before start to increase the ratio of complex carbohydrates to protein in your diet. Foods such as porridge, rice and pasta are ideal. Avoid alcohol and drink lots of water.
Prepare your gear the night before. Read the race booklet, check where and when you need to be there. Check the news for travel and weather information so you know the conditions in advance.
Lastly, enjoy the day. Arrange viewing points on the run for your friends and family to support you. Watch out for the pre-race adrenalin and don’t start out too fast. Thirty seconds too fast at the start will cost you a number of minutes at the end. Good luck and save enough energy for a big finish!