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Marathon tip: Don’t be too adventurous

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While our traditional May 24 half-marathon is sporting a new look this year with its new title Appleby Bermuda Day Half-Marathon - participants shouldn’t be as adventurous.

One of the keys to having a good run in good time is not to make major changes in your routine these few days before the race. Here are a few areas to watch.

What you eatRunners and trainers agree that if you are running on Friday, now is not the time to try out new foods. They say stick with foods that have worked for you before a long a run in the past. Carbohydrates are the most efficient fuel for the body, so most runners make a point to eat a lot of them. And it’s best to load up on them gradually in the days before the race. Between now and Friday about 70 percent of the calories you eat should be in the form of carbohydrates.

Loading up on them with plates and plates of pasta on Thursday night could come back to haunt you during the race. But if you’d tried this in the past and it works well for you, then it’s probably a good idea to stick with it.

Your running routine

It is important to allow your body ample rest before a long run, but if you feel anxious and running is your regular routine, then a slow 20-minute jog may actually help relieve your tension.

Don’t over-exert yourself and keep your thoughts pleasant and positive. Enjoy our beautiful scenery, or tell yourself that you are ready and are going to finish in good time.

Your mental state

Much of our success comes simply from believing in ourselves. It is important to prepare yourself mentally for the race especially if you approaching it as a competitor but even if you are doing it with the simple personal goal of finishing, taking some time to think about that can help.

Relax and think about what it means to you to finish, think about how you will feel and then imagine it is actually happening.

You will do better and the marathon will be easier to run if you concentrate on it. Try not to subject yourself to upset or worrying matters that will distract your mental attention during the marathon. Be focused and motivated.

You can also get inspired by watching a movie about running (Chariots of Fire is a good one) or reading quotes.

I like this one by American 1936 Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens:

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

What you WearClean clothes are good for a race but completely new can cause problems. Wear an outfit you’re comfortable running in and have worn before. Labels and tags can irritate the skin especially in new clothes, making your running uncomfortable. The type of fabric or style of the piece might also prove to be problematic for your skin, or areas that need support.

And Friday’s race is not the time to sport a pair of brand new sneakers. The risk of getting blisters and therefore having a miserable run are extremely high if this is something you were planning on. And even if you think you’ll look good, it’ll be so hard to do when you’re in pain.

The big race: Prepare properly for the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon
Eat normally: Go easy on the pasta

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Published May 21, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm)

Marathon tip: Don’t be too adventurous

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