Tips For before and race day
Two weeks out
Endura-Matt had a good tip the other day- start drinking Endura. The Gold Coast marathon is sponsored by Endura so that is what you will have at the all the drink stations or water. I know I have been encouraging the other sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade or Staminade that is because I'm not keen on the taste of Endura. But you need to start getting a taste for it, so now start on Endura drinks so you are not shocked with your first mouthful on the day. Endura is a good drink, but it does have a different taste.
Gear Trials-Make sure you have trialed everything for the big day, your clothes, gels, drinks, right down to your socks, do not have anything on the day that is brand new or that you haven’t tried out before the race.
Start running at different times of the day. It may be warm a the Gold Coast, and the marathoners could be running in the sun for a few hours so start to get used to it if you can
Diet-Go on a health kick, really be aware of what you are eating, and try fresh, healthy food, lots of fruit and vegies, and get some steak into you. Get off the alcohol!
Aches and Pains-Treat any little aches and injuries that have cropped up from all your training, have a massage, ice any injuries, and ease off the running. Make sure your feet are ok, if you have any blisters of sore feet it may be a good time to have a check with a Podiatrist.
This would be a good time to have a massage, if it’s a firm it may hurt so you don’t want to have it too close to race day, you need to recover, if you are having massages, schedule your last one for about 3 days before the race
Paperwork-Check your registration for your event make sure it is all done
One week Out
Sort Out Gear-Start rounding up all your gear, have a list with everything you are going to need and have a special bag for it, this will be all the gear you are wearing, your drinks, gels, paw paw cream, registration details etc, keep it all together.
Tapering-Keep your longest run under 15km distances this week, make your last run on Thursday and make it a nice easy one, go out with one of your running buddies and brain storm what you are going to do on the day, where you are going to meet, what you are taking, the more you talk about the more you are likely not to forget anything.
Relax...Chill out; enjoy your time off training.
Three Days Out- Carbo loading starts for the marathoners
Two Days Out – Carbo loading starts for the half marathoners
One Day Out- Carbo loading starts for 10km
Pack-You should have everything you need all packed in a separate bag, Because this race is on the Gold Coast, you cannot just slip home if you forget anything, so all you really have to worry about is the runners Holy Grail, your shoes!! They are the only things that cannot be replaced if you forget them, all your other gear can be bought down there, but worn in shoes are priceless, so do a final check before you leave that you have your shoes.
Register- You will need to collect your registration kit the day before, if you have any questions about the race make sure you go to the information desk and ask them. They will have big maps up of the course and you will be able to see where the start and finish line is. Walk around and check out where everything is, the toilets, the gear tent etc, look for a good meeting place for you and family or your running buddies
Last Supper-Enjoy your dinner- choose from pasta or rice...do not go for chilli of curries, make sure your meal is large but not too large; you don’t want to be bloated. Feel free to have a lean steak and vegies, potatoes are good, but no potato chips, anything greasy will give you a stitch for sure.
Drink your sports drinks or just water, some people swear by one glass of red wine!!
Before Bed- Lay out your gear, everything...so you are not running around in the dark trying to find stuff on the morning of the race. Pin on your number, have your anti chaff cream out, gels in your pockets etc.
Sleep- or try to! Set your alarm
Don’t stress- you will have plenty of time. Just get straight up and into your running gear. It will be cold first thing, so wear an old jumper that you are prepared to just chuck by the road side, or give to family; there is a lot of waiting around at the start, so plenty of time to freeze.
What to take-I don’t like to take a bag, so I go to the race line with my Gatorade a banana or sports bar and a five or ten dollar note in my back pocket. I don’t take my phone, but I make sure I have some money in case I need to call someone or catch a bus home! It’s very easy to get lost and separated from your mates after the Gold Coast race.
If you are with a group, you may like to put all your bits and pieces in the one bag and put that in storage. And then you can arrange to meet there after the race.
Go to the bus stop- If you are catching a bus head to your nearest bus stop. The buses can get crowded and it seems like you will never get there, but don’t panic, everyone is always there before the gun goes.
If you are staying close by allow time to walk to the start.
Toilet- go at home...however I know you always feel you need to go just before you run, but be prepared, there will be huge line ups , so make that your first port of call on arrival.
Gear- Put any gear you have in bag check or give to a friend or family
Meeting Plan- Sort out a plan of where to meet with your running buddies, afterwards. The toughest thing about Gold Coast is not the race, it’s finding everyone afterwards. Make a plan with your group of where to meet afterwards, if that fails and you just can’t find each other, even if it’s to meet back at your hotel, that is better than stressing out walking around for hours. So have one meeting plan and a back up meeting plan if the first one fails.
Huge- For the majority of you this race will be the biggest race you have ever entered, it is huge. Don’t be freaked out, it may look crazy and unorganised but in fact it is very organised, just trust the you will be standing on that line when the time comes for you to run.
Lining up- It is best to get in your estimated time group. So gather your buddies together and find the pacers for your time and stand or huddle near them...then wait...and no you do not need to go to the toilet again, it’s just nerves.
Lost- If you arrive and cannot find any Lazy Runners or the people you organised to meet, just get in the line up, you will be fine, you will probably see them along the way, but if you don’t just run your own race and try not to stress about looking for people.
Gun- when the gun goes off you will think isn’t that time to start running! Unfortunately due to crowds you often don’t get to run for a few minutes or more, don’t panic it’s normal, you will eventually start running.
Drink Stations- I strongly recommend that you grab a drink at every station, even if you think you don’t need it; just look on it as drink loading. It’s a good habit to get into, even if you just wet your lips with it, and psychologically it will help, because you will be able to count down the drink stations, look for them and make the drink a little reward of the last 5km you just ran.
Run your own Race- Often you get caught up in the hype and either panic about your slow start and try to make up for it by going too fast, etc. if you are feeling good run well, if you are not so good slow down, don’t get sucked into running someone else’s speed or pace, just stick with what you know from your training. You will run the distance; your training has prepared you for it, just get your pace sorted out.
Enjoy It- I know easier said than done, but you and thousands of others are part of Australia’s biggest running race, you have paid for it so make the most of it, look around, have a chat and a laugh…it’s all good…this is one of those moments in your life that you will always remember, so make sure it’s a good memory
Look For Lazy Runners- There will be lots of Lazy Runners out there, wearing the tops or hats, so keep an eye out for them, say hello and wave to them, even if you don’ t recognise them they will be one of our team, give plenty of encouragement to all the Lazy Runners out there.
Wall Hit- This may not happen (but it very well could!), you may start to feel weak or unwell, of just plain over it and want to stop...this is not the end of your race. Most runners hit the wall in a long race, all you need to say to yourself is "ok I've just hit the wall, now I have to work through it", slow down, have a chat to yourself, start pumping yourself up, get to the next drink station and make the most of it, slow right up or stop, grab a couple of drinks and drink them slowly, it could take a kilometre or more for you to come good so don't rush it..it's best to expect a Wall Hit, than be shocked when it happens
Finish Strong- Out of all the races I have run I still have wonderful memories of finishing the Gold Coast marathon, it is a great, exciting finish. The supporters build and build in the last couple of kms, and the feeling you have when you see those barriers and run into the last km is amazing, soak it up, you may never be here again, so make the most of it. No matter how tired you are feeling now is the time to lift, hold your head high, run tall, wave to all your adoring fans, smile, say goodbye to four long, hard months of training you are going to achieve your goal. There is a usually a photographer crouched down near the end, give him a big smile and the thumbs up, that photo will represent how you ran your race, so make it a good one.
Cross the Finish line-Keep moving at the end and you will be directed into recovery. This area is for runners only, and it’s for you to hand your chip back in, get something to eat and drink and get your breath back. This tip is important...take your time in recovery...I know you think you just want to get out and find you family and friends and start celebrating, but don’t worry they will still be out there waiting for you. If you leave recovery too quickly, it is often hard to find a drink and something to eat in the outside area. Drink, eat , stretch, walk around, I would stay in recovery for at least 10mins, until your feeling hydrated and a bit better, look around for any Lazy Runners have a chat. Once you leave recovery you cannot go back in, so take your time.
Its over- Party, party, Party