Prepping for your first big race? Don’t let race day jitters ruin your fun. We share 7 tips to do away with last-minute nerves.
Be it 5km or a marathon, you want to arrive feeling calm, healthy and ready to run your best. So, here are some tips to keep you on track:
1. Chill out – Take a deep breath, spend the night on the couch and get a good night’s rest.
2. Know the route – Familiarise yourself with the route you’ll be running. This will help you pace yourself so you know when to push and to take it easy.
3. Pre-race fuel – Don’t eat anything heavy or something you’re not used. The last thing you need is an upset stomach during the race. Stick to what you know and eat a couple of hours beforehand to give your body enough time to digest the food. If you struggle to eat early in the morning, go for a smoothie that’s easy to down.
4. Arrive early – To avoid running to the starting line, get to the race at least one hour early. That way, you will have time to use the park, find your friends, warm up and get in line.
5. Take your ID with – Always carry some form of identification in case of an accident or injury. Put your full name, address and cellphone number on your race bib, or use an ID bracelet which you can wear on your wrist or shoe.
6. Keep moving and keep warm – After crossing the line and collecting your medal, ignore the urge to sit down and rest. Walk around until your heart rate goes back to normal. Do some deep stretches to ward off stiffness. Enjoy a warm shower and get into clean, dry clothes as soon as you can.
7. Refuel – Your energy stores get low, muscles are worn out and the immune system is weakened after the race. So to recover properly, you need a snack with a combination of protein to rebuild muscles and healthy carbs to restock your energy stores. Try a snack such as FUTURELIFE High Protein Smartbar; availaible at retailers for R14.95.