In general, runners should reduce their training volume by 30% on their last week of training before a race. Also try limiting all strength and conditioning training in the week before, to avoid unnecessary muscles fatigue and soreness. However, you could also reduce your training volume by 50% on the last 3 day or rest completely on the last 2 day. All methods work and it is all down to personal preference.
If your toenails are too long, it may increase the chance of you hitting the tip of the toe and causing black nail. It is better to cut your toe nails a week before your race. Avoid cutting them last minute as it might feel uncomfortable and affect your performance.
In the last week before your race, avoid eating food that may upset your stomach. For example, food that is oily, spicy, or lots of dairy. Besides, you could consume more fibre rich foods to help with digestion.
Carb-loading is claimed to be the most direct and effective method to improve your performance during a running race. Carbohydrates will convert to glycogen in our digestive system and store in muscles. Consuming more carbohydrates will maximise our glycogen level in the body, then we can use them as fuel during the race. It reduces chances of getting fatigued too quickly and muscle spasms.
Running races always start early, so make sure you get used to waking up early. Adjust your sleep time to get as much as rest you can get. Then on your race day you won’t be tired due to of lack of sleep which could affect your performance.
No matter if you are a beginner or an experienced runner, you will be nervous!! So prepare your gear from your clothes to energy gel etc in advance. Even Vaseline and your post-race drink! Plan it through if you are missing anything you still got time to buy it.
Knowing your route is going to help you to plan your running pace. Slow down before a deep elevation, speed up with flat long path. You can also check where the water station is to decide when to take your energy gel.
Tuen Yeung Ng -chartered physiotherapist