THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FUN RUN SUCCESS!
Many moons ago, I transitioned over from serious runner to serious bootcamper and then to serious gym goer. Now I’m serious about nothing and will give anything a go but along the way I collected enough information about fun runs to pass on to the novice or even the more experienced racer 😊
1. Find a training plan. There are many online freebies that cater for any experience level. Any half decent fun run will have a training plan on their website. Winging it on the day just because you run a bit on the treadie is a bad idea. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get the training plan done prior to the race.
2. Train in the shoes you plan to wear on the day, click here for my shoe recommendations https://www.thegymsydney.com.au/post/running-shoe-recommendations
3. Register and train with a buddy that has a similar goal to you.
4. If you’re a regular gym junkie, train in the gym as normal up until 3 days prior. After that, KEEP MOVING but take out any high volume or heavy lifting involving the legs or posterior chain, it's also best to forgo any sprinting (short distance jogging is ok). If you really are regular and consistent with your training you shouldn't be experiencing excessive DOMS and unless the activity is going to take more than a couple of hours you really shouldn't need to taper too much.
5. Eat a meal of protein, vegetable carbohydrates and leafy greens the night before.
6. Eat in the morning! It is way too long to go without food. Don’t try anything new, make sure you eat whatever you normally eat prior to training. If you usually don’t, then practice prior to race day. If this experience is new to you, I recommend some banana, a few nuts, toast or a small amount of plain yogurt with fruit. Don’t go heavy on things like milk, Vegemite or peanut butter. Keep it plain and don’t overdo the volume.
7. Hydrate VERY well the day before and more importantly the morning of (although don’t overdo it, you don’t want to spend the entire run in the porta loo), keep coffee to a minimum.
8. Warm up properly! Don’t look around at all the others doing a few outdated stretches, use what you have hopefully learned at the gym. If you can take a loop band that’s awesome but in most cases that won’t be possible so be sure you find other ways to activate your primary running muscles (glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves). If you have a lacrosse or golf ball roll out your feet in the morning then follow up with clams, hip bridges, prone leg lifts, air squats, good mornings, emu bobs, calf pumps and bunny hops.
9. After the race, do some long held stretches, no bouncing around. Hold the end range of the position for at least one minute. If all else fails hit up a one to two minute downward dog.
1. Pound the pavement in a last ditch effort to get in some training the week before. If you haven’t done it by now it’s too late and you are only increasing the risk of injury before or during the race. A couple of short light runs in the lead up week will suffice.
2. Carb load the night before or morning of (unless it is what you do regularly). Science says NO to this and so do I. Unless the activity goes for more than 2 hours there is little to no benefit and in fact it will likely leave you feeling heavy and lethargic.
3. Have any alcohol the day before the race, leave it for the post race celebrations.
4. Take any random supplements you wouldn’t normally take, this includes energy drinks, pre / post workout type hoo ha (these are a waste of money anyway but that’s for another post)
5. Drink anything other than water during the race unless this is normal practice for you which again unless the activity is going to exceed 2 hours then there really is no point. You are better off going without much liquid during the race and definitely NO sports drinks. Obviously if it’s hot and you are parched you should have a drink of water but small sips will be sufficient.
6. Get caught up with the sprinters at the start of the race, always stick to your game plan! My game plan never changes, shuffle along slowly at a pace I know I can manage all day then towards the end of the race, if I have anything left in the tank, that’s when I’ll pick it up.
7. Push yourself so hard that you end up hobbling home. Getting 7kms into a 14km run and having to walk the rest of the way….well...sucks AND it can be painful AND it can cause long term pain which will inhibit your future training/living.
8. Mistake a sports drink for water and tip it over your head during the race, makes for a very sticky and unpleasant day. A good friend of mine asked me to include this warning 😊
9. Head straight to the pub with your mates after the race. Hydrate well, have a good feed and that much awaited coffee and then a couple of hours later crack open a tinny or two and cheers your buds.
My 2 Top Tips!
1. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t normally do! Don’t follow anyone else’s routine or suggestions. Wear the shoes you always wear, eat the food you always eat, use the headphones you always use. Today is not the day to try something new. That’s what training is for.
2. Have fun! Try not to get frustrated with the millions of people and prams and animal onesies, don’t bowl anyone over trying to get through. Be patient and kind to others and a gap will appear eventually. It’s a FUN run so your number one goal should be to HAVE FUN 😊