First Race - Advice Please (Read 614 times)

    Hi everyone I wonder if any of you could offer me some advice. I recently took up running again and have my first race on Saturday, its 5.7 miles. However, I had an op 6 weeks ago and although I am ok to compete as far as the docs are concerned I am suffering from fatigue probably due to medication. I wondered if you could offer me some help on what to eat pre race to help boost my energy levels and how soon before the race I should eat. Also am I best taking water with me to drink on route or will the water stations be enough? I normally run with a bottle of water. I apologise for the silly questions, I have done a few runs this length with my running club but havent been out with them since beginning of April before I went to hospital. I have just come in from a 3 mile run which I completed in 34 mins, so although I know I wont make the race in the time I'd hoped for, as I imagine I may have to walk part of it, at least I'll have done it. Many thanks in advance
      Hopefully more of the seasoned runners will chime in, but based on my limited experience (couple 5ks, one half marathon and one marathon), here is my advice. As to what to eat and when. I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich about an hr to 45 mins prior to both HM & Marathon. Provides good energy and settles in the stomach, no problem. I also drank about 20 oz of gatorade at the same time. This gives enough time for one last "pit-stop" before the race. I've also heard pop-tarts and bagles are good pre-race eats. On all the races i've ran, the water/hydration stops are very abundant compared to what I was used to in training, so my recommendation is to not carry any water with you. Water stops were about every mile and a half to two miles apart, or about every 15 - 20 mins which was about right. Good luck with your race!!

      I've got a fever...

        Bring toilet paper. Nope, not a joke. They often run out of it at races -- you will be doing yourself a huge favor if you pack a roll in your bag.

        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

          Congrats on getting yourself prepared for your first race. For a race of this distance, its not necessary to load up on food, either the evening before or the morning of. In fact, you are better off eating less than more. Your body has more than enough stored energy to complete the run without need for carb-loading or anything similar. Have a small, light meal the evening before the race. If you like, have a very small breakfast .. something all carbs like oatmeal, dry toast or a bagel. Some people have an energy bar. Avoid fats and protein because they take longer to digest. Try to eat no closer than 2 hours before the race. If you normally drink coffee or tea in the morning, then go ahead, but don't over-indulge on caffeine either. I don't know the setup of your race, but as long as there are water tables every 1-1.5 miles, you should be fine. If you don't know about the frequency of the water tables, then bring a bottle of water. You can ask about the water details at the race, and if you don't need the bottle, then leave it behind. Finally, remember to start out at a comfortable pace. Its very easy to get caught up in the nerves, adrenaline and crowd. If you go out too fast, the second half of your race will not be fun. However, if you keep to your pace, then you will have the energy to finish strong.

          How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

            A few things... First, No one has mentioned the most important thing. Are you cleared to run? Does your doctor know that you are racing? If you are on meds, over exertion may not be a good thing. Second, Assuming that it is OK to race, a few days before (thurs) Eat the way you think you should on race day. then go for a run and see how you feel. Obviously less food is best but keep just enough for energy. Water is much better than Gatoraide. Don't cary water in the race. just take your time at water stations. Last, What is that picture of in your Avitar??
            Runners around the state are getting better today ...are you one of them? TRAIN HARD
              I think several have posted good advice here. If the race is in the morning, I would eat an early, simple breakfast: maybe something like a bagel with butter or cream cheese and some juice. For me, I have found that for five-mile races I need to limit my fluid intake and, especially, make sure that I don't drink anything after downing a cup of juice or tea two hours prior to the start. Otherwise, I'm looking for shrubs instead of running the race! Great job in running through adversity. I admire anyone who runs, especially someone who is overcoming a significant obstacle. Good luck, and have fun!

              Speed my steps along your path, according to your will.

                Bring a bag. Hopefully, they have goodies to stock up on. The day before, I set my clothes out. An hour before racing, I usually drink a pint (16oz) of water about and have a small bowl of high fiber cereral. On 5K and 10K races, I do not do any of the drink stops. Make sure to have a good BM and evacuation before you head out.


                  Did you just tell her to have a good dump?
                  Runners around the state are getting better today ...are you one of them? TRAIN HARD
                    Thanks for all the advice (well almost! Smile) The race is not until 6pm on Saturday so I think I will stick with light meals through the day and wont drink too much, there's not many bushes. From what I've heard there is plenty of stops so should be ok for water. I have got the ok from the docs to run but thanks for the concern Cougar. Picture is in Maldives and keeps me motivated to lose weight. I'll let you all know how I got on when I can walk to the computer again. Big grin I am looking forward to it and determined not to give in a this point. cheers all and happy running GG
                      Did you just tell her to have a good dump?
                      Something along those lines.... it is essential to get rid of weight that might slow you down. Take it easy and put on the sunscreen.


                      madness baby

                        Good luck Geordie! Eat well that day. An evening race sounds fun! Don't forget to bring toilet paper. . .

                        Imminent Catastrophe

                          An hour before racing, I usually drink a pint (16oz) of water about and have a small bowl of high fiber cereral.
                          I'm not too sure about the "high fiber" cereal, that might cause you some discomfort. Go with a banana, bagel, something like that.

                          "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                           "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                          "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.


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