Since running the London Marathon, a lot of you have contacted me to ask for my running advice as you have long-distance races coming up . I remember the first time I signed up for half marathon I was completely terrified as I barely did any exercise, so I feel your pain. I remember thinking that I’d never be able to complete a half-marathon as I couldn’t even run for a bus (I was very good running a bath though!). Since then, I’ve run a full Marathon, several half-Marathons, and various 10k runs, so thought I would share 5 of the not so obvious tips for race day:
1. Don’t wear anything new.
I once made the awful mistake of wearing a pair of brand new leggings for my first ever half marathon, the Bath half, and it was the worst decision I’ve ever made. It turned out they were slightly too big for me and I spent the whole thirteen miles pulling them up. This goes for trainers too, like any new shoes, make sure your trainers are well worn in.
2. Download the Nike Running app.
I couldn’t do a run without it now. It tracks all your running history, tells you how quickly you run 1km, 1 mile etc, plus you can set training targets. If you become friends with people you can also see how much they’ve ran that week and do challenges together, something that helps motivate me.
3. Cut your toe nails.
Running for a long time is tough on your body, but for me the biggest pain I’ve suffered is from my toe nails rubbing into the sides of my toes. It sounds obvious to say, but so many people don’t consider it, so make sure your toe nails are cut short with no sharp edges.
4. Wear Vaseline.
Another glamorous side to long distance running is the chafing. Put Vaseline over any sensitive area of your body or any area you know might rub – ladies, I’m talking nipples and crotch. Trust me you do not want to suffer chafing in this areas!
5. Have a good music playlist.
Finally, for me I could not run without good music. Running is the one time there’s no talking or distractions and you can get lost in your thoughts. Having a good playlist can help to pace you and zone out, plus if you get tired a good up-tempo track can make all the difference. They say on a lot of competitive runs you don’t need music because the atmosphere is so good – in my experience this is sometimes the case, but often not for the whole way round and there’s nothing worse than running in silence.
I hope these tips help you. If you read this and found it useful, then leave a comment and let me know which run you’re preparing for. I might do another post soon on my motivation tips for beginners, if you think that’d be useful.
Speak to you soon,