Last Minute Tips for the (6 mile) Great Limerick Run
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If you’re running the marathon or half marathon, you shouldn’t need any tips. These distances are no joke, so you should know all you need to know for months now.
However, it’s common for people to enter the 6 mile distance with little preparation or training. Also, the 6mile distance is the common starting point for those new to running. Maybe this is the first time that you have done a run like this and you’re starting to get nervous? I’m often asked about carb loading, and especially what to do in the last week. Whether you are a client of Elite PT, or a first time visitor to this site, I’d just like to wish you good luck at this point!
So I hope the following helps………………………….
THE LAST WEEK..
1. Have you run 6 miles already?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but have you run 6 miles already? Or even 7 miles? Make life easy on yourself by knowing what 6-7 miles feels like. On the day you may have crowds, heat, cold, rain, nerves etc… to deal with. You should at least have run 5.5 miles by the 28th April (one week before) You want your 6 miles to be fun and an experience. Don’t look back on the day remembering how bad you felt!
2. Don’t buy new shoes now!
Whatever you’ve been running in up till now, that’s what you run in on the day. New shoes will need time to be broken in, you don’t want blisters, shin splints etc… If you really need new shoes, buy them the day after the race as a reward. You can wear them for your next 6 mile run.
3. Don’t “Carb up”.
Let me tell you a story….. Someone I train was working with 3 women who were doing the 6 mile last year. For a week before, they were scoffing down pasta, bread etc…. and the excuse was that they were “carbing up” On the day…. They walked most of it. So they took in about 5000 more calories and burned 300-400 calories on the day.
So basically they got fat ! Six miles is not an endurance race. You don’t need loads of carbs. There are sports drinks at mile 3 so if you happen to be running low on sugar, you can get it there. If you are on a low carb diet at the moment, you may benefit from having a high carb meal 24 hours before you run. This will give your body time to store some glycogen should you need it. A giant plate of pasta 3 hours before will not have time to metabolise and will do you no good.
4. No “scrambling tactics”
Scrambling tactics are acts of desperation. (Starving yourself in the last month to fit into a wedding dress is a classic) Maybe you’re trying to get in a few really hard runs because you have fallen behind in your schedule, or you were sick etc etc…. Well, it’s too late now. You’re risking overtraining or even injury. Just accept where you are now, and do the run to the best of your ability. If you feel like you could have done a better time, so what? Do a better time in another race the week after. The world won’t end on May 6th 2013!
ON THE DAY OF THE RUN
1. Don’t change your routine! Eat the same meal you would normally eat before a run.
2. Have your clothes, shoes etc ready to go. This includes wet gear! Just because it’s sunny at 9am doesn’t mean that it won’t be a hurricane at 1pm! This is Ireland after all!
3. Relax that morning, and give yourself plenty of time to get to the start.
4. Warm up with jogging/walking and light stretching before-hand. You’ll be running at a fast pace and unlike the marathon runners, if you chose to ease yourself into the race, it will be over before you do.
5. Don’t try to keep up with those people who sprint off at the start, keep calm and keep your own pace. You’ll pass them out in 30-40mins.
6. Have a plan! A simple plan for this distance is to run the first 3 miles slow (as if you feel like you could run a lot faster) then ramp it up for the second half. RUN THE SECOND HALF FASTER THAN THE FIRST.
Keep it simple.
7. Enjoy yourself! Exercise is supposed to be fun and challenging.
8. At the end. Have someone there to take a photo of you crossing the line.
It might seem corny now, but years from now you’ll appreciate it. Learn to celebrate your achievements!
9. Don’t stop dead at the finish line. Take on some water and go for a walk to cool down.
10. Keep going!!! If you liked the run, look online or in the paper for another one to do in a few weeks. If you hated the run, look for other ways to exercise. Keep up your momentum and always make health and fitness a big part of your life.
And again remember point number 7. Have fun!
Owner, Elite Personal Training