By the Indepenent Team
Fact is many of us are preparing to run Uganda’s big Marathon this November or, more accurately, the 10K series of it. Since the 10km run should present few challengers for routine runners, this article targets especially individuals who jump in because – hey, everyone is running!
That of course is mistake number one. Every run requires some preparations, including consultation with a medical person, the gym instructor, or someone who knows these things aka your running office buddy. Topics of discussion could include:
What to eat before running
There are different nutrition recommendations for different phases of the pre-running prepping. The most important rule here is that you must never try something new of race day. Try out different meal types, quantity, and timing days or weeks before. Follow regular plan for the race morning.
Other eating tips:
Gradually increase your total carbohydrate intake by adding in more potatoes, pastas, and starches (low glycemic index foods) to your diet throughout the preparation. The old idea of depleting your carbohydrate stores the week before the race and binging on carbohydrates the last few days in an attempt to trick your body into overcompensating and storing more fuel is outdated.
Eating too much more than you normally do will make you feel bloated and lethargic.
Your last big meal should be two nights before the race. It will give your body ample time to digest anything you eat so you won’t feel bloated on the morning of the race.
Make sure you drink plenty of liquids all day long, including lots of water and avoid salty foods.
Wake up early before the race to eat a small breakfast with plenty of time to start digestion before the gun goes off. You’ll want to drink mostly water. If you drink too much water while running a marathon, you might become hyponatremic. On the other hand, if you drink too little you may become dehydrated. In the 10k race, the risk of either is low.
What to wear
Try wearing the clothes you think you’ll wear on race day, the shoes, socks, and everything you can think of. If your boobs are only an inch shy of knocking you square in the face, and your shoes look worn-out, get something else. In order to feel like a runner, you have to look the part. Ladies, find a decent sports bra. It pains to see women wearing an ill-fitted, support-lacking sports bra. Running without a great high-impact sports bra will destroy the elasticity of your breasts, and will put you in the running for premature saggy sweater puppies. Fellahs, fetch a pair of shorts that will stay put and leave much to the imagination. As a general rule of thumb, you should not feel your clothing while you exercise. It should fit like a second skin.
How to train
Take your run outdoors. For outdoor runs, dress appropriately. It is vital to allow your body’s internal thermometer time to acclimate to the weather conditions in your area.
Secondly, too many runners try to carry out a long run every weekend. After all, they rationalise, the marathon is a very long race. But long runs cast a shadow over subsequent training, making it difficult to carry out high-quality in between as the leg muscles are always trying to recover from the impacts and abuses. A far better strategy would be to carry out the long run every other weekend–or even every three weeks.
A good playlist can really change your tune when it comes to running. Days before the run, assemble a different playlist for each day. Custom fit your run to your mood, and I assure you that your brain and body will be more in sync, hence finding the overall experience far more enjoyable.
Be realistic but also real. This means you need to do what is doable without embarrassing or hurting yourself. Endurance and running ability are always speed-specific. Some marathoners actually think that walking during the race will improve their times. But running more slowly is better.