In conjunction with England Athletics, we want to help you prepare for your next big race with a few extra training tips. Whilst there are hundreds of training plans and tips out there, we want to bring you the best, and as such, have enlisted the advice of England Athletics and their experienced coaching team.
Over the course of four weeks we will be publishing articles as part of our new “Training advice from England Athletics” series, which will provide you with invaluable advice and training tips from Spencer Duval, who is the National Endurance Lead Coach for England Athletics.
Issue 3: One month to go. Take it away Spencer.
So your race is only a month away; it’s probably been the focus of your life for some time now, and you’re probably starting to worry a little bit, but don’t panic! There’s still time to fine tune those last minute niggles or worries, get one more long run in, and sort out your race day kit.
It’s time to be realistic. How’s your training gone? Have you done at least one really long run? How was that?
You’ll know the answers, and if they’re positive, well fabulous. If not, well? No problem. Use these four weeks to make sure you’re mentally and physically fit, with a confident perspective, and try and work on a relaxed running pace then most importantly enjoy the day.
For those of you chasing a time, make sure your last long run is behind you and you’re tapering (easing) down. Keep hydrated, keep well fuelled and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Easing down is very important so plan it in.
Oh, and have a plan for the race and a back up plan B.
Start formulating how you’ll approach it and be positive, but realistic. It makes a huge difference, especially in a longer event, if you can stick to your plan for the first half of the event. All too often we see people tear away in the first few miles, only to come a cropper later on. Be confident in what training you’ve done and run accordingly. Start easy and pick your way through.
It’s worth downloading a map of the route and studying it. It’s handy to know about all the inclines so you’re ready for them on the big day. Some watches nowadays have the ability to download the map so you have it for the race – this is good for creating an accurate pace chart.
Above all, no matter where you are in your training, do not try and do loads of extra work to make up for lost time, or to get that bit quicker at this point. All your hard work should be done by now. The goal now, is to get to the start line in great condition and not injured, or too tired, to compete well.
If you haven’t already done so, take a look at your race kit. Make sure you’ve run in the shoes quite a few times to break them in. The same goes for socks, shorts and vest; have them ready beforehand. No new socks at the pre-race expo, often a favorite last-minute treat, go with old faithful’s for the big day.
You can find out more about training tips and running in England by visiting England Athletics