Preparation - the key to success

Chris Ianson.
Chris Ianson.

MANY of you will have been training hard for months to prepare for a particular race.

They are almost here. Some of the biggest runs in the North-East calendar will arrive in quick succession in the coming weeks.

This Sunday, it is the Great North 10k run starting in Gateshead. On the same day, the Old Monks 5.5 mile run starts from Hart Village in Hartlepool.

Then, on Sunday, July 24, three fun runs are planned at Summerhill in Hartlepool on the same day as part of the town’s celebrations to mark one year to go to the 2012 Olympics.

The Darlington 10k run gets underway on Sunday, August 14, and the Tees Pride 10k in Middlesbrough on Sunday, September 4.

And, of course, there is the 13-mile Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields on Sunday, September 18.

It may be your first ever challenge or perhaps you are a running regular. But you are bound to be full of excitement after putting in all those hours of training.

But it is just as important to prepare properly in the lead-up to your chosen event.

Here are some tips;

l Step up your intake of complex carbs in the four to five days before your run. You should be planning to make complex carbs 65 to 70 per cent of your daily intake in this period, to build up energy.

l Don’t do any strenuous exercise in the last two days before your run. Try and relax and perhaps do some stretching exercises.

l On the day of the race, have a light breakfast and, if you have light snacks, have something like a banana or sports bar.

l Wear the right clothing on race day. Check the weather forecasts to see whether you need to be wearing warm clothing or cooler attire.

l Remember that, if the weather is hot, you need to bring more fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

l Make sure that you wear the right shoes to run in. They should not be brand new shoes that you have not had time to wear in.

l Don’t eat within the last hour of the race. It causes the blood to rush to the digestive system.

l Try and run the race in your head beforehand. Picture how you want to run it and plan for that. That way, you can run the race you want to run and you should be able to cope better when the inevitable adrenaline rush kicks in.

l Bring support on the day. Having your family there can be just the boost you need to get you to the finish.

l Why not visit the course in advance. Give yourself an idea of how you plan to run it at different points along the route.