Preparing For a 10km Run
Here are 9 tips to prepare you for running the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K.
Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to and first thing in the morning on race day. Avoid drinking alcohol the night before as this is incredibly dehydrating on the body. It is a good idea to allow enough time before the start of the race for fluids to pass through your system so you don’t have to make stops along the way.
2. Keep to your routine
Consider how long it takes you to get ready for a training run and allow yourself the same amount of time in the morning of the race to prepare. Try not to do anything out of the ordinary on race day; this includes drinking sports drinks that you haven’t drunk before. If your body isn’t used to them, they can have unusual effects on your body, in particular on your stomach.
If you want to train with energy drinks, find out what the provided sports drink will be on the day and train with this drink leading up to the event. This way there won’t be any nasty surprises on race day. In the morning of the race, a coffee can be good about an hour before hand, not only as an energy boost but also as a laxative to flush the system. It’s also a good idea to allow enough time for your body to digest breakfast before the race.
3. Eat a banana
Bananas are packed with potassium and so are great for muscles and electrolyte function in the body. Potassium is essential for good nerve and muscle activity and helps to maintain healthy fluids in the body. It’s a great idea to eat a banana in the morning of the race with your breakfast to keep your muscles going.
4. Eat well
A 10K run isn’t quite long enough so that you’ll need to do any carb loading, as your body should have enough energy stored to be able to run the distance. It’s recommended that you enjoy a balanced diet leading up to the event and have a high carbohydrate snack before the start of the race to give you a last minute boost of energy.
5. Get some sleep
Aim for 6 to 8 hours sleep the night before race day, but don’t go to bed too early, as you might wake up early and end up being tired by race time. Rest is critical to sports performance both physically and mentally as a recovery time for the muscles and the mind. A good night’s sleep also gives your body a chance to fully recover from previous training sessions, leaving you fully equipped for race day.
6. Dress appropriately
On race day morning it will be early and cold as it will be the middle of winter. Wear enough clothes to keep you warm before the race, but have a running outfit underneath that you can strip down to that will keep you cool while running. Your body will heat up while running, so it can be a good idea to have a running outfit suitable for 15⁰ warmer⁴ than the temperature on the day.
7. Get there early
Get to the race site early so you’ve time to drop your belongings off at the bag drop. As the race starts from George Street, The Rocks at 7:30am sharp, keep in mind that if you are driving you will need to find parking in the city. There will be a marshalling area outside Cruise Bar next to the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, where you can relax before the start of the race. If you are taking public transport, figure out the planned route the day before and be sure to find out if there are any track works on trains.
8. Mind games
Running long distances is often more mental than it is physical and involves getting your mind over matter. To get through a long run, play mind games with yourself to get you to the end. Think of pleasant thoughts to distract you from the running. This could be a recent holiday you took which had great memories, or think about how good you will feel at the end of the race when you have crossed the finish line. Another idea is to play number games. Perhaps count to a certain number and then repeat. Anything that can keep your mind busy while running will allow you to keep going at a good pace for longer. Have a mantra that you say to yourself when morale is slipping low.
9. Stretch and warm up
On race day it’s important to stretch and warm up when you arrive. It’s a good idea to start with a short jog around the area and stretch the legs to get your muscles ready for the run so that you don’t pull any muscles. Hold every stretch for about 30 seconds and hold until there is some tension in the muscle but not to the point of pain. Use the stretch as time to relax and focus on having fun throughout the race.
The most important tip however is to have fun and enjoy the beautiful scenery!