Hey everyone. THE marathon event of the year will be happening this weekend, and I am sure most of you runners, organisers and volunteers out there who are directly or indirectly involved are counting down to the big event.
The event is officially kicking off tomorrow with the race kit collection happening at the KL Convention Centre. A good location indeed for a 3 days spread for runners and the likes to come and collect their race kit and visit the Prudential Healthy Lifestyle expo.
Prep tips for runners
For runners, this is about the time where you have wind down your mileage and take all measures to avoid any last minute injury. Pamper yourself good with a massage or reflexology session to ease those muscles and joints. Do the necessary preparation and planning to ensure you leave home on time this Sunday morning, know where to park if you are driving, and if you are car-pooling or taking other modes of transportation, plan that in advance too.
Take your time to look through the event itinerary, ie warm up and start time for your event. Find out up front where are the luggage drop off area, and if you are coming with some supporters, agree to a location to where you guys could possibly meet after the event.
Post event pics are cool, so make your camera/phone cameras are fully charged!
Runners – whether this is your first, or first for the distance which you will be running, or even if you are a seasoned runnner, here’s a quick check list you might find helpful for your event day to be smooth;
- Original NRIC (MyKad) – bring it [you will need it as part of verification document if you get a winning spot]
- Keep your original bib after crossing the finish line [you’ll need it for winner verification]
- Original winner’s tag [those lanyard with paper tags showing your position #] if you are handed one at the finish line
- Baggage/luggage service is available at the Dataran Underground. Service starts 3am and ends 12.00pm. According to the guide book in the event website, baggage not collected after 12.00pm will be donated to charity or disposed at organiser’s discretion <– so make it a point to collect it early after your race !
- NOTE: 45cm x 35cm x 20cm <– luggage guideline. Organiser have the right to refuse your luggage
Food and drink – Some tips
You will need to have a tummy pre-filled before your event. Don’t eat too much else it’ll be hard too run. Do not NOT eat at all as you’ll experience hunger pangs which can disrupt the quality of the run, and your concentration as well.
Eat per usual, as you have done during your practise run. Race day is not the day for you to try out new things ie. new shoes, etc and this includes the things which you consume.
Keep stock of some energy gels/bars . Click here for a guide from Runner’s World. The link also shows how you should be taking your fuel.
Personal experience- been over drinking and not alternating between sports drinks and plain water.
Shall I stop for a ‘roti canai’ or McDonald’s ? Most probably not as the purpose of refueling during the run is to absorb the carbs and nutrients almost immediately. Roti canai and McDonald’s might not only have longer absorption rate, but it will also shunt your blood to your GI instead of your musculoskeletal. So stay away from over loading your system unnecessarily. You need your body to be working efficiently and economically to give you the best run, and that you finish comfortably.
Cramps? Side itch?
Listening to your body is an art if you have not listened hard enough. Listen to your body. The second you feel a tugging or pulling in your muscles, slow down your pace. It’s a sign of possibly a cramp developing. If its the case, stop running, and stretch the affected area. According to Runner’s World, applying pressure by just using your fingers on the affected muscle for 10-15 seconds can provide relief.
Side itch? Same thing…Stop and stretch… if it comes again, repeat the procedure. Breath in deeply, and apply pressure to the affected muscles. Weak obliques muscles normally contribute to side itch during runs as the upper body rotates. Hence– the importance of building a strong core –> you’re less prone to these symptoms, injuries as well as a longer endurance before fatigue hits.
We typically miss this out.. take a look at some of the short listed items I personally think you can benefit from:-
- make sure your shoes are intact. you don’t wanna go mid way you run to see your sole coming off unless you don’t mind running barefoot
- socks – it’s GOTTA be comfortable. Too thin, too snug.. it will and can be discomforting and also lead to blisters on your foot/toe
- shoe fit — same as above.. ill fitting shoes can cause blisters and black toe nails <– familiar?
- Body Glide/Vaseline – a runner’s life saver. Apply some to areas prone to blisters and chafing. I’ve posted on this before. Photo of a guy with bleeding nipple ! ouch !
- Other things — Get any wired gears ie earphones out of the way. Not only it affects your running momentum (you trying to keep things in place while running…!), it slows you down from your best potential running pace which you’ve worked oh so hard for– but it also can contribute to risk of unwanted accidents. You are so into Queen’s ‘I want to break free’ you missed all the verbal warning pointing to a pothole in front of you , or missed a check point (either a ribbon tag, or time mat) . If you can keep those earphone from dangling, possibly the reconsideration for that playlist you have sitting in your music device.
Whether or not you pass any exam depends on 2 things 1) The effort put in prepare for the exam 2)The execution of those preparation into tackling the exam. Same with running. If you have picked a suitable plan for a particular distance which you are registering, AND followed through the training program, this will help 1/2 of the challenge you will be facing on D-day.
The other 1/2 is the execution of it ie what’s been done during practise runs, and implement it for the race day except with more eager and smart enthusiasm. Planning is key to ensure you don’t fumble through your steps unsure if you should stop or not for the electrolyte/water. Whether or not you should be running or walking up hill — all based on your prep and knowledge, and adjusting it where necessary on race day.
Having a sports watch and HRM (heart rate monitor) on (with the understanding that you also wore them during practise run) will give you the edge. You will be able to tell immediately if you are pushing too hard to early to avoid early encounter with a brick wall <– possibly no one wants this right?!
Else, do what you’ve been doing which has work which is–listen to your body. You maybe tempted to ‘draft’ or hook with a runner to get the right pace. If you need to do it, do it wisely. Do not play chase until you get your rhythm and pace right.
Personally, I am more of a ‘keeper’ of my energy, and will disperse it gradually into the run. Satisfaction comes when I start overtaking runners who were dashing their cardiac muscles out the first 2km, and I make sure I keep and then up my pace slowly.
Wishing you all the best for your run !
Yours in writing,
p.s. I will be running the 1/2 marathon distance. Wish me luck too !