Entering a race for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Will I finish it? Will I be too slow? Will I oversleep,miss the bus and miss the whole race?? All of these thoughts and a million others will go through your head. But, in fact, it’s the preparation you do long before the race starts that will help you feel more confident on the day and get you to the finish line with a smile on your face!
Here Deborah Ashley one of our TGCR Run Group Leaders shares her brilliant tips in the first of our three part series:
1. Your race pack will arrive a couple of weeks before the event, unless you entered an event very close
to the date. For late entry, you will be told where to go to sign in and collect your race number. Your
race pack will contain:
2. Make your travel arrangements to get to the event and home afterwards. For Great North Run you
can buy a travel pass wristband several weeks in advance, this saves you having to queue to buy a
3. Prearrange meet up points with your running buddies and support crew at the start and end. For
large events there will be thousands of people milling around, it isn’t easy to find people in that
crowd. There's pretty much always a These Girls Can Run meeting point so never fear!
4. Don’t rely on being able to use your phone to ring or text to find people. Great North Run is notorious
for total lack of phone signal, when you have 43,000 people all trying to use the same mast, it is going
to break! Text messages I sent at about 12:30 didn’t actually get delivered until 18:00!
5. Make sure you have ran at least once before in the clothing you intend to wear on race day, including your special charity race top if you have one. You need to check for rubbing and chafing in advance and apply Vaseline or other lube product to any sensitive areas. RULE NO. 1 NO NEW STUFF ON RACE DAY!
6. During your training test what you can eat before a race and how long before a race. You need to
know your safe breakfast (most events start in the morning). Make sure you have tested your water
strategy for long runs, and your energy refuelling foods many times so you know what works for you.
Do not be tempted by free samples of drinks or gels given away through the race. In large events like
GNR kind spectators will offer your sweets and drinks. Only take these if you know they are safe for
you. Don’t be undone by a jelly baby! RULE NO. 2 – REMEMBER RULE NO. 1!
7. Fill in all of the details on the back of your race number bib. These details are essential for the
emergency services should you get into difficulties.
8. Fasten your bib loosely to the front of your top with safety pins or your lovely TGCR race fasteners. Make sure the bib isn’t too tight and can move with your body. If it is too tight it will tear and may drop off you don’t want to miss out on a chip time or be pulled from the race!
9. Make sure your phone and your running watch are fully charged. Put your phone into a plastic ziplock
bag to protect it from rain or other liquids. Some inconsiderate runners throw water freely over themselves without thinking about you getting caught in the deluge!
Same time, same place next week for more!