You have completed your training and race day’s finally arrived. Here’s all you need to know about what to eat, drink, wear and do to ensure you have a fabulous time.
What to eat and drink
It’s not necessary to carb-load before a short run such as a Tommy’s 5K, as your body can store enough energy-giving glycogen to run for about 90 minutes, though if your diet’s generally low in carbs you might want to have pasta the night before.
Kate Percy, the author of Go Faster Food (Vermilion, £12.99), recommends eating a good breakfast, such as a bowl of porridge with blueberries and honey, one to two hours before the race. “Drink a glass of water on waking to ensure you’re well-hydrated,” she says. “Run with a water bottle and take little sips, aiming for 125ml to 250ml every 10 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, re-hydrate with water, a glass of apple juice or milk and eat an energy-boosting banana or sandwich”.
What to bring
- race number and safety pins
- knickers and sports bra
- trainers and socks
- running top and jacket
- running shorts/bottoms
- water bottle and post-race snacks
- sunscreen and sunglasses
- cash, phone and camera
- clothes to change into afterwards
- post-race picnic
What to do
Walking around for a few minutes before the gun goes off is a good way to get your body used to the movements it’ll be performing. Once the race is underway you should savour every second by chatting to other runners or taking in the sights. And after you’ve crossed the finish line and received your much-coveted medal, share your success by having a post-race picnic with your family and friends (don’t forget to arrange a meet-up point in advance). You’re a real runner now – and there’s no going back!
Written by Lisa Jackson, co-author of Running Made Easy (£9.99, Collins & Brown). Lisa hosts six-night Running Made Easy retreats in the French Alps for complete beginners.
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