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Getting ready for the TC10K Virtual event or other events this spring? Here is your eat, sleep, start, pace, and complete event day low down for success, and practice for future in person events!
While a Virtual event is very different from an in person race, with all stimuli that live races deliver, you can take it as seriously as you wish. Virtual Events also give us a lot of opportunity to practice an excellent race day scenario. If you want to test out some race day skills for the future events in your life, here’s your guide to racing, whatever that looks like for you.
The day before the race, eat well. Eat normal, healthy, wholesome meals, the same as you always would. Do not over eat or under eat. A common favourite pre race meal is pasta with grilled chicken and some veggie. Basic. Potatoes, rice and some protein are also good, as is a tuna sandwich. There is no magic food, just simple and good food that you know works for you.
The morning of your event, get up and have your pre event meal at least 2 hours before the event. Don’t drink more coffee than you are used to and don’t drink a massive volume of water. This just makes for inconvenient bathroom stops.
Try to practice your pre race meal at least once before race day, before a morning training session. A favourite pre race meal is a toasted bagel with peanut butter and honey, and a coffee. If you are a smoothie person, throw one on. If you find something that works, don’t veer from this.
If you are going to be on course for more than 90 minutes, you may want to consider a gel or small bar of approximately 100 calories at 45-60 minutes but this is something you want to practice in training as well.
Stay hydrated the day before the event, but it’s not necessary to over hydrate or pre hydrate or take any special hydration formula. Do what normally make you feel good for training and in your daily life. Avoiding too much alcohol or caffeine is a good idea however, as both can interfere with a good sleep and hydration.
If you are going to drink on course, take small sips from your personal flask.
Well before bedtime, the night before, put out your clothing, pin your number (if you want to use it!), and have your favourite lucky socks and underwear ready to go. Plan when you will leave the house and where you will park if you are taking your car. Virtual events allow you to run from your house, but you can also drive somewhere for this.
Go to bed at a normal time and get your normal amount of sleep, but don’t sweat it if your sleep is short or not too great. You’ll still have plenty of energy for race morning. If you are a bit keyed up, then do something to calm yourself. Read, have a cup of herbal tea, or lie in bed and listen to a calming sleep meditation. Or simply lie in bed and relax and breathe. Imagine yourself on race morning, being calm, excited, ready and confident. Tell yourself that all is OK, and then rest.
When you wake up, switch that pre race brain on, the one you prepared the night before. Everything is planned and ready to go so there is no second guessing or thinking about that logistical stuff.
Eat your breakfast and drink your tea/coffee in the peace of your own space and feel happy that it’s finally race morning because it’s going to be a great day!
Pre Plan your warm up. You may want to do an abbreviated version of what you do on clinic night or a light walk or jog about 30 min before the race. Light, slow and easy, just to warm up the body temperature. Do some arm circles and light stretching and simply stay calm and in the moment? Be amazed at yourself for being there, at this super cool event!
Start slower than you think you should. It will still be too fast. Listen to your effort and sense of work rate. Think Zone 2 effort, patience and consistency. Slow down on the up hills while keeping energy constant.
If you feel you need to walk, this is totally ok, but start using your watch and give yourself 2 min walk breaks for every 10 minutes of running, unless you have a pre set walk/run plan.
Sportsmanship: Be Nice and Have Good Manners
While you are doing a Time Trial, you are still sharing the trail or streets with others, and all the courtesy rules and covid guidelines still apply.
Just BE NICE to yourself and others and smile a lot so others can see how much fun it is to be out there moving.
I think the biggest thing to remember is that while a lot of blood flow is heading to your heart and lungs, your brain is still working. Use you head and stay calm and positive. Give yourself credit for being out there, participating, even under these strange circumstances. Remind yourself often while you are out there, that it is your choice to be in the event, that it is a wonderful gift to be able to do this. No matter what happens out there, you put in a lot of effort and training to get to the start line - be proud of what you've done!
Run For Joy