There are surprises that cause a lot of excitement and others that can cause bad feelings. For a runner, races are important and, for that reason, it is vital to do your best to avoid disgusting surprises.
In races, most of these surprises result from lack of experience, but fortunately, they can be avoided by means of checks and experimentation.
For that reason, we will now give you a list of things you should check and experiment before a race.
EXPERIMENTATION BEFORE A RACE
Running shoes are an almost indispensable accessory for any runner. Before a race, it is essential to know which running shoes you will wear.
That is why we recommend you to do the following some weeks before the race:
– Define which running shoes are comfortable (if every time you run with a pair of running shoes, you get blisters, you should look for another option).
– Verify their state of conservadion (check the slope and the interior) and make sure they are not too damaged.
– Make sure to have run a considerable amount of miles with them and that they are appropriate for the distance you are running. If you are running a half marathon or a marathon, we recommend you to wear the same running shoes you wear for your long runs.
Socks are almost as important as running shoes, but they tend to be forgotten. A good choice will provide you with comfort, while a bad one may cause you blisters and annoying rubbings.
For that reason, we recommend you to identify some pairs of socks you know will not cause you discomfort.
Some socks can suffer damage easily. So, it is important to make sure they are in good condition and not to have holes.
Here we can recommend you a rule similar to the previous one: wear the socks you wear for long runs.
–HYDRATION AND SUPPLEMENTATION
Hydration and supplementation (especially by means of gels and carbohydrates-rich sport drinks) are two important aspects in every race.
The first thing you must define is whether you will have liquid or supplementation during the race. In order to decide that, you will have to consider the distance and the weather conditions the day of the race.
If the day of the race you will reinforce hydration and consume carbohydrates, it is vital to try and experiment this during your workouts with as much precision as possible according to what you will do the day of the race.
If the day of the race you will use energetic gels, try different brands and flavors and have them the same way and at the same time you will the day of the race. You must apply the same concept to hydration.
Even though in many short races the use of the official t-shirt is mandatory, in most half marathons and marathons, runners are usually allowed to choose what to wear.
For that reason, it is essential to define with enough time which t-shirt you will wear the day of the race. Of course, your choice should be based on the main goal of running comfortably and avoiding rubbings.
Considering that the weather may change, it is advisable to try different combinations of weather conditions during your workouts. You will not probably use the same t-shirt for a race in a hot day or in a rainy day.
– PREVIOUS FOOD
Your body has a better response to what you are used to. So it is important to be used to what you eat before a race.
Experiment different foods and choose the one that makes you feel better. Apart from energy, it is important that what you eat before running does not contribute to gastrointestinal pains.
Apart from the food you will consume, it is important to verify how long before the race and how much you will eat.
flickr photo by Juanedc http://flickr.com/photos/juanedc/17795336919 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license