How you might be feeling
Race day is near and it's likely you're feeling a little nervous. This is NORMAL!
Try to focus on enjoying your last few workouts and the extra time you have off from training. This is your taper period, where your workouts are shorter and less demanding.
You'll have time to rest and relish in how far you've come! Maybe treat yourself to a massage or simply an afternoon with your feet up and a good movie!
Coaching tips for race day
Just 2 weeks to go before the big event! You may be feeling a confidence boost from your longest run last week and feeling like you can do more. You will! If you're thinking of testing yourself and going the complete distance "just to make sure you can do it" – trust me, don't!
It's the consistency of these next two weeks at lesser volume that will allow your body to rest and recover and enable you to safely complete the full distance. Your final tough training days are behind you now, and you've earned the much-needed rest.
Good planning includes not just good training, but putting all the pieces in place: physical, mental, nutrition, hydration and equipment. Try not to introduce anything new to your training, diet or even lifestyle.
How do I mentally prepare?
During your last few workouts, visualize yourself on race day, at the start, feeling confident and strong. Think about how you will choose your combinations of walking and running OR how you will run steadily and controlled. You've done this routine many times, so it will come naturally on race day. Always imagine your exhilaration as you cross the finish line with your arms in the air and a smile on your face!
How can I feel more confident on race day?
Look back over your planner or logbook and reflect on your experience over the past 9 weeks – all that you've learned and accomplished over the course of this program and the months prior. Remember, you’ve had many weeks and months of physical and mental preparation. You've made significant lifestyle changes and adjusted to the tremendous demands on your body.
In truth, you already know how it is going to feel on race day, and familiarity is a huge part of making your dream a reality. You’ve established personal patterns that have worked to get you through all the workouts, including learning to run, and completing all your peak mileage sessions. You’ve completed all that’s been asked of you in this program, and now you can do it on event day.
Is it important to know your pace?
The specific pace – whether it’s 10-minute miles, 12-minute miles or 8 minutes per kilometre – is not important, but it is useful information for several reasons. The most important is that it helps prevent you from running too fast for yourself.
Having a good idea of what your running pace will help you stay relaxed and avoid the common mistake of starting your race too fast, which can often result in problems later in your event.
Knowing your pace will also help you predict your finishing time and give your support people an idea of where you will be at different points of the course. This can help you plan out your transportation and post-event festivities - how fun!