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I'm sure that for most people the day of the race is very important, but we've been preparing for this moment for weeks or months (even years), so as the time approaches, we like to have everything well tied up so that nothing gets out of hand.
For this, I have prepared some tips for the day of the race.
The race day breakfast is very important, as it will be the basis of the energy we will spend. But don't go crazy or look for impossible recipes. If you usually drink a latte, do it anyway on race day. But you must accompany it with something else, you can't go on an empty stomach. A breakfast rich in carbohydrates will serve perfectly as fuel for the miles that lie ahead.
A good breakfast can be a coffee with milk accompanied by bread with tomato and oil, and a banana. But there are a thousand combinations, such as yogurt with oats, raisins, honey or cereal bars. Mix it as you like.
Not only what you eat is important, but also when you eat it. 2 hours before the start of the raceIf you can't eat breakfast 2 hours before the start for whatever reason, try not to eat an hour before the start.
Drink water, and not just during the race
You should start to hydrate yourself before the start of the race, but don't overdo it. Establish a plan. Look at the race rules to see what the organisation has thought of to make it easier for the runners to get their supplies and try not to skip any, even if you are not thirsty.
Thirst is a symptom of dehydrationWhen a body becomes dehydrated, the volume of plasma in the blood decreases, forcing the heart to beat more times in order to provide the muscles with oxygen. Therefore, if we become dehydrated, fatigue increases.
If the race takes place on a hot day, it is also important to replenish mineral salts, as increased sweating will lead to a greater loss of these molecules. However, an isotonic drink can help replace this loss.
Set your pace and follow it
If this is your first race, plan your pace over the course of the event. Create a strategy and define if you will start stronger to slow down, or you prefer the opposite and want to save energy to have a more powerful finish. But the most important thing is that the behaviour of other runners does not affect the development of your race.
The best thing is to start at a comfortable pace, to avoid the nerves and adrenaline of the race playing tricks on us and finding ourselves running at a pace we are not used to and which we will find difficult to follow.
First of all, one thing must be clarified: in matters of supplementation, nothing can be said categorically. Every body is a world and behaves in a totally different way. What works for one person doesn't have to work for another and vice versa. The best thing is that try it out before a race to see if it works for you or not, preferably in long runs.
In short races of up to 10km it will not be something you have to take much notice of, as our body is capable of withstanding the demands of a short race. But from a half marathon onwards you might need a push a medida que vamos gastando nuestras energías. Estos suplementos se pueden encontrar en diversas formas, desde bebidas isotónicas a barritas, aunque lo más habitual es en formato de gel, pues es un concentrado y es mucho más fácil de transportar. La forma de tomar estos geles es «a sorbitos» y siempre mezclándolo con agua. Es decir, we take some gel and give a sip of water.
Depending on the brand, there are many presentations, flavours and compositions, but broadly speaking the supplements provide us with the following:
- CarbohydratesThe fuel we use is our own gasoline, which is stored to fuel our legs, so it never hurts to fill the tank as we use it.
- ElectrolytesSodium and potassium supplements: Necessary to replace the loss of sodium and potassium through sweating. Supplements of this type are an alternative to sports drinks.
- CaffeineSome supplements include caffeine. Very useful to give you that last push when the mood starts to wane.
This point is very bigNever wear anything new on the day of the race. No shoes, no T-shirts, not even socks. You must have trained with everything before. Believe me, you don't want to find out at the 12th km of a marathon that the new T-shirt you bought has a seam that gives you a rash. You can get 30 km of real pain...
Analyzing the route before the race
Although some runners prefer to be surprised by the circuit on the day of the race, it never hurts to analyse the course by car, bike or on foot the day before the race. You can even do this with Google Street ViewThis way you can prepare your strategy, calculate where the slopes are that will break your rhythm and study the possible refreshment points.
Get there in plenty of time
Don't go in the nick of time. Regardless of the length of the race, you should at least be one hour before departureImagine that you arrive at the right time and at a fast pace because you are late parking or you can't find your way out, and at that moment you have to make your exit... your pace will surely be affected.
And a little gift advice...
It doesn't matter if it's your first race or if you've already finished more than 50. Enjoy it!