Wednesday, 12 October 2016

10 things that always happen during race week

On Sunday I'm going to be running my third half marathon. 

You'd think after two half marathons, a marathon and half a dozen 10Ks I'd be used to race week. 

But no, race week is always stressful and nerve-wracking and horrible.

And the same things seem to happen every time...

1. Phantom injuries 
Was that foot pain there last week? Why is my right quad hurting? Oh god is that hip injury flaring up? A whole host of weird injuries will crop up during race week, or at least seem to crop up. Don't worry that they're going to completely ruin your chances of a PB - they're probably a bit of nothing, or more likely, just in your head.

2. You become obsessed with checking the weather
Is it going to be too hot? Oh god what's the humidity like? Is it going to rain?

3. You will bulk buy safety pins
Even though you're sure you bought 100 last year. 

4. You'll start to feel like you're "coming down with something"
It will start with a sore throat, a slightly fuzzy head. Oh god oh god oh god. Honey and lemon, stat. All the cold and flu tablets. Do you miss you last run and have an early night? Thankfully, this is totally, totally normal. In fact, it's especially common to get ill during your taper as your body is finally getting a rest! Take it easy, skip your last few runs in lieu of a rest, and drink plenty of water!

5. You'll be sure you haven't trained enough
No matter how much you've trained, you'll beat yourself up about that long run you missed or not running your intervals at a faster pace or whether you should have been strength training more. Everyone feels like this! Even the best athletes in the world probably feel they could have done more! There's nothing you can do it your last week - just trust the process!

6. At least 5% of your brain is engaged constantly in running maths
So to hit a PB I need to be running a pace of this, but if I want to be under this time I have to be hitting this pace, and that means by mile 3 I need to be at this time, and maybe I should run negative splits, so what pace should my second mile be?

7. You'll panic over travel plans
What time do you need to be up? How early should you arrive? But maybe you should get some more sleep. What if the tram doesn't arrive? How long will it take to walk?

8. You'll make multiple costume changes (in your head)
Will it be too warm for leggings? Should I wear shorts? Long sleeved top or short sleeved top? Which sports bra? Which socks?

9. You'll probably make some kind of last-minute purchase
What if my Garmin battery isn't going to last the day? Maybe I should get a new one. What if I need leggings with pockets? Do I need a belt to store my gels? I'll get one on Prime.

10. You'll switch between excitement and fear and excitement again
The worst part of race week is the anticipation - there is no way of knowing what is going to happen on race day! You're constantly worried about doing something that might jeopardise your chances of a great run. But at this week you've done everything you can - so it's time to rest, relax and get ready to smash it!

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