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Managing the lead-up to the race?

It's not always easy to have a peaceful couple of weeks leading up to a timed race! There are however several priorities for arriving at D-Day on top form…

 

Allow time for recovery

The hard work has been done. Over weeks or even months, you have followed a training plan to be ready for D-Day. The deadline is approaching. Maybe you still think that several adjustments are necessary. And without doubt you will want to put yourself to the test by running a few more kilometres. Bad idea. You're now on standby!

Priority should be given to fundamentals other than running. Allow yourself some real rest and relaxation time. Your body is talking to you. Listen to it! Take care over your sleep and avoid sleeping in which can disturb your sleep cycle. On the day of the race, get up early…

 

Your priority is sensations

Forget music theory! Put yourself in the shoes of a soloist the night before the most important recital of their career. What you're about to do has been repeated many times. It's therefore useless practising scales and running several extra kilometres.

Here are some essentials:

- Run with a light heart. Without doubt, you've never been in such good shape before. Take pride in reaching the end of your training plan without suffering any injuries or weariness.

- Run at the right pace. After warming up, settle yourself at the speed you will stick to in the upcoming competition. Use a set route to check that the chosen speed is correct and that you feel good.

- Stimulate yourself running. In the week leading up to the race, it's wise to carry out one or two sessions of 30-30 - that means 30 seconds sprinting followed by 30 seconds of recovery at a gentle jog. Warm up beforehand to avoid injury.

 

Focus on fuel

It's likely that the forthcoming race will cause anxiety and that your digestion will be a bit disturbed during the lead-up to the race. It's therefore important not to change your eating habits. Avoid sampling the local delicacies when you're on a foreign trip.

From the Thursday, focus on eating slow sugars (pasta, rice, etc.) in order to store up as much glycogen as possible in your muscles and liver. Eat at set times.

Pay close attention to hydration - drink regularly. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

 

Finalise your race plan

Experienced runners will know the time they want to achieve and will have learnt their times at each five kilometre mark by heart in order to check that they're on course. Be careful not to be over ambitious. It is important, before finalising your tactics, to take into account your past performances and the quality of your training. Novices or beginners over this distance will only have one aim: crossing the finish line. They will need to think about pacing themselves so that they stay within their comfort zone in terms of cardiovascular activity. In other words, they should avoid getting too much out of breath.During the two weeks leading up to a competition, you should focus on recovery. This is also the time to check all of your logistical details (transport, equipment, etc.)

 

Enjoy your run!

 

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