We are delighted that Catherina is supporting us in our work to get young people in Ireland fit and active.
“Running Free with Catherina” Race Day plan
You have all the training done. Now you can look forward to running a 5km race. It’s reasonable to feel a bit anxious before a race and especially if it’s your first one. My advice is relax and embrace the challenge ahead.
Don’t compare yourself to others and release any worries or doubts
You have done the training and you will get to the finish line. You will be resting up the week of the race. This allows your body recover from all the running you have been doing. People that are new to running often make the mistake of doing too much on the week of the race. As a result you can feel tired on race day and you may not perform to the best of your ability. It is important to rest so that your body feels fresh.
On the morning of the race be sure to eat the breakfast that you are used to and that you have practiced in training. Aim to eat about two to two and a half hours prior to the race. I always have some fruit followed by porridge.
Eat something high in energy and easy digestible
Be sure to keep well hydrated in the days leading up to the run. Don’t drink too much on the morning of the race in case you get a stitch. Just keep sipping water.
Get acquainted with what’s happening around you
Go to the race venue about 50 minutes prior to the start. You can get an idea of the race route and get acquainted with what’s happening around you. Do a little walk and jog to loosen out and get your heart rate up.
Take a few deep breaths and feel confident in yourself
The starting line can be crowded. Starting in the middle of the pack is safe for most beginners, and you will have people to chase down as the race goes on. Before the race starts take a few deep breaths and feel confident in yourself.
This will give you a great boost of confidence
A lot of people make the mistake and run too fast in the first mile. You always want to start a little slower. This helps you run a better and usually faster race, and it’s also easier and more fun to pass people. This will give you a great boost of confidence. Aim to run negative splits which means finishing the second half of the race faster than the first half.
Pick up the pace and finish strong
Start conservatively and build your effort throughout the run. When you start out too fast, your body works too hard too soon after the first mile. This results in a slower overall time slower and the race feels more difficult than it should. In the last 400m pick up the pace and finish strong.
Have a positive mantra for the race
When things get tough, it’s common for the little voices in your head to start telling you to slow down. Have a positive mantra for the race such as, “I can do this, I am feeling strong and running really well”. Practice this during your runs so it becomes automatic on race day. When I get to the final stages of a race I say to myself, “The faster I run the quicker I will be finished”.
Aim to enjoy yourself from start to finish
Don’t worry about what time you run. While it’s great to have a goal time in mind, just focus on crossing the finish line. Aim to enjoy yourself from start to finish. Plan to meet up with friends after the race so that you can share your wonderful experience with them.
You will do great. Have fun, relax, enjoy and of course smile.
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