Unedited column Run&Bee published in Hindustan Times on 12th October 2019.
Delhi Half Marathon is only a week away. Lot of new runners and even some who have been running for a while will be panicking as to what to do in the last few days. Here are some tips to help calm down your nerves and to get you to enjoy this mela of a run.
Last minute training: Now all you can do by trying to cover-up for all the missed training is get yourself injured and mess up your race big time. The main goal during the last week is to stay injury free. Stay active during this time but don’t do any speed workouts and long runs. Keep it easy. Even your strength training should not be high intensity. You need to just come to terms with whatever training you have done. If you have trained enough, calm down, if you haven’t trained enough, still calm down.
Gear for race: You shouldn’t plan to wear any new gear on the race day including running shoes, socks, t-shirts, shorts and even underwear. Even if you are running as part of a team, make sure the team t-shirts are delivered to you in advance so you can run in them a few times before the race day. For shoes I would suggest that you should wear the ones you have been using for at least one month. If you plan to use sunglasses or any other accessory but aren’t used to, practice running with them now.
Running food and drinks: For a half marathon, no special food really needs to be had before the run. Hitting the wall is an issue in full marathons, not in half. Just eat well. Have early dinners through the week, i.e. by 7-8 pm, so you have enough time to digest your food. If you do plan on consuming any energy gels or bars or electrolytes during the race, but haven’t tried so far while running, now is the time you practice running with it. You definitely shouldn’t try anything new on race day. There any energy gels or electrolytes that might make you run to the loo rather than to the finish line. Use the next few days to try anything new, even though you should have done this earlier.
Sleep: If you don’t normally sleep long enough, the next few weeks, that's the one thing you need to work on. Sleep 7-9 hours. Rest and recovery is important to help you perform at your best. This again will help you stay calm the day before the race. Sleep early so you can get up early even on race day.
Pain or injury: If in this last week you are having any pain or injury that you are aware of, please take a sensible call. Don’t be stubborn about participating in this event only. There will be enough races around the corner but if this injury becomes long term, this good habit of running that you have picked up, will be gone forever.
Live, breathe and sleep the race: Visualise the whole race day, including the race course. Remind yourself to not try too hard. Just let go. Enjoy the run. Time would just happen.
Running bibs: You can collect your running bibs on Thursday and Friday from 10am to 7pm and on Saturday till 5pm. I suggest get it done on Thursday so you aren’t tense in the last couple of days. If for some reason you can’t pick your bib, your authorised representative can but only for one person. They need to carry website confirmation downloaded application status on ADHM website and their and runner’s photo-identity eg. Aadhaar card, PAN card or passport.
Keep Miling and Smiling: Throughout this week you need to keep a smile on. This will help you run the race real well.
The print version from HT is below.