10 things to help you through 10 days before Run Norwich

The Run Norwich 10-kilometre road race follows a route around the city taking in some of its most fa

The Run Norwich 10-kilometre road race follows a route around the city taking in some of its most famous landmarks. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

So with just 10 days to go to the Run Norwich 10km, for many this will be just another race albeit on this occasion a race around what is our great city of Norwich. However, there will of course be hundreds of somewhat novice runners who will be running in a 10km race for the very first time wondering what they should be doing with just over a week to go. With this in mind here are a few pointers based on many of the questions we get asked at Sportlink Running & Fitness.

The Run Norwich 10-kilometre road race follows a route around the city taking in some of its most fa

The Run Norwich 10-kilometre road race follows a route around the city taking in some of its most famous landmarks. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

So with just 10 days to go to the Run Norwich 10km, for many this will be just another race albeit on this occasion a race around what is our great city of Norwich. However, there will of course be hundreds of somewhat novice runners who will be running in a 10km race for the very first time wondering what they should be doing with just over a week to go. With this in mind here are a few pointers based on many of the questions we get asked at Sportlink Running & Fitness.

1. Firstly stick to your routine with regards to diet.

I am constantly asked about what foods to eat leading up to a race and whilst diet is very important, now is not the time to start playing around with it.

Run Norwich winner Nick Earl, right, with his twin brother Johnny after the 2016 Run Norwich race. P

Run Norwich winner Nick Earl, right, with his twin brother Johnny after the 2016 Run Norwich race. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant


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Everyone knows about eating extra carbohydrates leading up to race day and while this is so very true, most people training hard should already be eating plenty of good quality foods high in complex carbohydrates.

This is also a 10k race, not a marathon so don't overdo it and do not experiment with foods not eaten before. Certainly go for meals containing plenty of carbs the day before and remember to eat a light easily digested breakfast on race day.

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2. If your longest run going into this weekend is less than 10k, then don't go all out to run the distance or indeed run longer just a week before the main event.

The training should be just about wrapped up now so save the biggest effort and performance for race day and most importantly be confident with all the hard work which you will have put in. Medals are awarded for racing not training!

It's not too late to pick up a new pair of shoes - or socks - ahead of Run Norwich. Getty Images/iSt

It's not too late to pick up a new pair of shoes - or socks - ahead of Run Norwich. Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. If possible go out for a rehearsal run this coming Sunday whilst wearing race day kit at the same time of day as what the race starts. Do everything you expect to do on race day i.e. get up at the same time, eat a light breakfast and during the run, include two to three short sections at what you hope to be race day pace.

Focus your mind as if actually there.

All being well you should feel comfortable and at ease with the pace especially as you will only be putting in two to three short efforts. If it doesn't feel comfortable then perhaps you should rethink your planning and adjust by a few seconds per km/mile

4. Check your kit and make sure everything is in good working order. It is not too late to still purchase items of clothing if required, especially socks which can be just as important as your shoes. Blisters can more often than not be prevented by wearing a high quality running sock. Race clothing should be light and made from materials which are breathable and wicks moisture, reducing the risk of chafing and blistering.

If you do need new shoes for whatever reason then remove the insoles and replace with a well-worn in insole from a well-used shoe.

5. For those who get nervous, try to get a little extra sleep during the week just in case you don't sleep so well the night before race day.

6. Between now and the big day, create lots of positive thoughts in your mind. Keep reminding yourself of all those many training miles you have put in and focus your mind on ticking off each km or mile one by one with ease.

If you know the course which most local people should do, then even better. There should not be any negatives at this stage.

You are in great shape and even those days when training runs perhaps felt extra hard and didn't go quite to plan should be looked at positively. Just down to the fact that you had the resilience to grit your teeth and complete the session. Being mentally tough is just as important as being physically fit.

7. Taper your runs during race week, but don't stop completely. Lots of people have experienced heavy legs come race day by completely shutting down too soon. I always feel it is best to just reduce the levels to what you would normally do.

Perhaps add a little bit of speed work albeit just a few short fast intervals mid-week, but nothing too severe. With regards to resting up, some may want to rest on the Friday and have a very short gentle jog on the Saturday (day before) whereas some of you may prefer resting the day before. However, a gentle walk can sometimes help just keep the legs turning over so as to stay loose.

8. Check out the long-range weather forecast as whilst we can't be too sure what race day will bring, we can usually get a pretty good idea in advance. One thing I am pretty sure of is that it won't be cold. However and either way, make sure you go to the start line hydrated.

Drink plenty of fluids so as to stay in a hydrated state throughout the week. The average person should consume about two litres of water each day, so with running and other exercise, aim to drink more. Needless to say don't overdo it as that can be just as dangerous.

Hydration levels are easy to maintain by just checking your urine. If it is clear or straw like in colour then you can be confident that you are okay.

If not drink more! Be careful with caffeinated drinks as whilst a cup of coffee has been proven to have beneficial effects for endurance races, drinks containing caffeine can have a diuretic effect made even worse in warm and humid like conditions.

During the run, especially those who will be out on the course for more than 45 minutes, consume some water or an electrolyte drink every 15 to 20 mins. Just a few mouthfuls each time.

If it is warm and humid then also pour a little water over the back of your neck and on top of your head and slow the pace a little as the heart has to work that much harder whilst pumping blood to the working muscles and skin so as to transfer heat away from the body.

9. Have all items of kit laid out and ready before race day. There is nothing worse than running around looking for your number, race vest, drinks bottle, etc on race day. Make a check list with everything you know you will need to have with you and tick each item off as you pack.

10. Pace makes for the perfect race! After weeks and months preparing for your big day, do not spoil it by going off too quickly.

This is so easily done what with adrenaline levels being so high with the excitement of running in a race with thousands of others.

The first mile can feel so easy whereby you look down at your watch and think 'wow that was quick'. Give it another mile and it won't feel easy.

In fact the next few miles will invariably feel hard and uncomfortable whilst actually running much slower than you know you are capable of. When you stand on the start line you should know exactly where you are at with your fitness, so stick to the plan. At the end of the day, look to get round in the best and most efficient way possible whilst enjoying every moment as before you know it, it will all be over.

by Neil Featherby from Sportlink Running & Fitness

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