Todays article is a follow up to our previous article, The Guide To Your Fastest 10km Ever.
This post will help you tackle race day effectively and confidently, to ensure that all your training and preparation for the race pays off!
Most 10km races start early to mid-morning time, which brings its own nutritional challenges. Fuelling the body after a night of sleep is essential in order to have full energy stores for the race. Are you Snacking Properly, PRE-WORKOUT? talks about effectively fuelling for workouts. The closer you eat to the race start, the greater the emphasis should be on carbohydrates (which are more quickly turned into fuel). A meal heavy in proteins and fats will take the body much longer to turn into energy.
It is important to eat breakfast before a race, even if it means waking up earlier. Breakfast is important to ensure that your body has the fuel it needs.
Race day is not the time to experiment with new shoes or nutrition etc. The last thing you want is a crippling cramp or unexpected blisters etc.
Your hardwork has been done in training, race day is the time to show off that training. Warm up with friends or teammates and stay relaxed. Smiling will keep you relaxed, so keep smiling and stay positive. Ignore what everyone else is doing, this will distract you from your focus. Use affirmations like “I am going to run well” or “I have trained hard, let’s do this” or whatever works for you.
The Race: 1-2 km
Start out at a steady pace, stay relaxed and avoid getting carried away with people running faster. The best race times come from negative splits (2nd half of the race is faster than the first). If you see people flying ahead, don’t worry a lot of them will fall to pieces near the end! Stick to your pace and settle on that pace to conserve energy for later in the race.
The Race: 2-7 km
At this point you are (hopefully) in your rhythm, so now it’s about holding onto your pace. As time goes by maintaining your pace will become more difficult, so try to take your mind off of it by focusing on runners ahead and trying to catch them, focusing on an object ahead, or repeating positive affirmations like “I’m feeling good,” “I’m working hard, let’s keep this going”.
The Race: 7km-Finish
Here is where the lactic acid is starting to swamp the body. The last 2-3 km are about giving it everything you have. Avoid pushing the pace too early to avoid a energy crash. Reassure yourself that there’s not much time left, keep passing people out. Finish strong and happy that you gave it everything.
Complete a small cool down jog, to help with soreness the next day. Enjoy your accomplishment and soak up the race atmosphere.
Let us know if you have any questions about anything discussed in this article. Share with us your 10km race plans, we’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Steve and Catherine