Last-Minute Half Marathon Tips

Well, the Bristol Half Marathon is upon us once again.  With less than a week to go, now’s the time to be thinking about last-minute preparations for the big day.  Whether you’re looking to beat your PB or simply make it all the way to the end in one piece, here are some tips for the coming days:

Tone down your training

You’ll still need to run this week, just cut down the distances.  Aim for 2 or 3 3 milers.  Don’t run the day before, but do keep moving.  A 30 minute walk is a good idea to keep the muscles moving.

Sleep well

Try to get some early nights in this week.  The better rested you are, the easier you’ll find it.  Bear in mind that nerves may prevent you getting a good night’s sleep the day before the race so bank your sleep in the week leading up to it.

Adapt your diet

3 Days before the race, increase the percentage of carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet to super-fuel your muscles.  Wholemeal pasta, bread and rice are all good options.  Avoid taking on extra calories as this will leave you feeling bloated and heavy. 

 The day before, aim to have your last heavy meal at lunchtime, a light snack early evening and a carb-based light dinner such as toast. On the morning of the race, try to eat the same as you have been on the days of your long runs during training.  If you know something works for you, now’s not the time to change it.  A light breakfast is the best option.

Stay hydrated

In the week leading up to the race, make sure you’re getting enough fluids.  Water is the perfect drink and you should limit caffeine as it dehydrates you.  The rule of thumb is to drink before you’re thirsty and avoid long periods without a drink.

But…avoid alcohol

It’s best cut out in the week leading up to a race (sorry!).  It, too will dehydrate you.

Get a massage

3-4 Days before the race a light pre-event massage will relax you and loosen your muscles. 

Be prepared

Have all your kit laid out the night before and make sure you have all those last-minute easy-to-forget items such as safety pins for your number and vaseline or plasters to prevent nipple rub (don’t laugh, anyone who’s done a long distance run will know what I mean!).  Allow yourself plenty of time on the morning of race day to get up, eat, get your kit together and get lots of loo trips in-and there will be lots.

Finally, good luck to anyone running on Sunday.  Relax and (try to) enjoy it!

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