THE countdown to the big day has begun! The Constantia Village K-Way VOB 15 km Road Race, 15 km League Walk and 5 km Fun Run, which take place on 10 March 2018, are almost upon us. Are you ready? And how should you approach these last few days? We asked the professional running coach, Kathleen Shuttleworth, who is also the VOB Club Coach, for her top training tips – and how to get into the race-day zone.
MAINTAIN YOUR TRAINING
- It’s the last week so now is not the time to over-exert yourself. In fact, you need to start slowing down. One week before the race do a run of only 8-10 km.
- In the last week, maintain your training frequency but keep your runs short. If you normally train three days a week, continue to do so but only run 3-5 km.
- Add a short, fast burst to the end of each run to keep your legs fresh and springy.
KEEP CALM …
- Try to minimize other life stressors in the run-up to race day.
- Get enough sleep and try to stay focused on your race goals.
- Don’t rush around too much, especially on Thursday and Friday before the race.
- The most important thing is to eat well-balanced meals that have plenty of nutrients.
- It’s not necessary to eat more than you normally would while training for a race because you’re winding down your program and training less. You’ll therefore be storing energy.
- What about carbohydrates? Don’t eliminate carbs from your diet! Some people are scared to eat carbohydrates as they are training less and are worried about putting on weight. Remember you’ll need the energy on race day, so bring on the pasta!
TWO DAYS BEFORE RACE DAY
- It is good to rest completely on Thursday and then to do a light 10-15 minute jog on Friday. This will ensure your legs feel rested but not sluggish on race day.
- Take it easy. Adopt the motto Keep Calm and Carry On!
- Make sure you know what time you need to register, and what you need to take with you (scroll down to the bottom of the article for starting and registering times).
- At registration, check the parking set-up, especially how far it is from the start of the race, and take note of the any road closures.
THE DAY BEFORE ….
- Make sure all your ducks are in a row: Pack out your kit in one place and pin your race numbers on your race shirt. You’ll feel calm and centered – the last thing you want is to panic on Saturday morning when you can’t find something, or risk leaving it behind.
FINALLY! IT’S RACE DAY …
- If your training has involved morning runs which you’ve preceded with breakfast, do the same on the day of the race.
- If this has not been your game plan, eat something light that is easily digestible one to two hours before the race. Try honey on brown toast, a banana, a small bowl of oats or a muesli bar. Even if you don’t usually eat before your runs, you need to remember that you’ll be awake a lot earlier than usual on race day and will burn extra energy.
- It’s important to stay motivated this week and especially on race day.
- Keep reminding yourself why you started this running journey and celebrate all the fun and crazy moments on the road: the new milestones reached, the new friends made, the hectic hills conquered … and the simple fact that you run because you can.
- On the day, run with feeling. Don’t stress about your pace and enjoy the moment. Take in the crowds at the water stations and the revel in the great feel-good atmosphere. There will be lots of crazy humans to cheer you on!
WHEN TO STOP THROW IN THE TOWEL
- Always listen to your body on race day, even if your training has gone according to plan.
- Stop running if you get any of these symptoms: Dizziness or light-headedness; chest pains or/and an unusual ache in your neck, jaw or arms; shortness of breath that is different to the normal out-of-breath feeling you get when you’re tired; you still struggle to breathe even when you’ve slowed down; cold shivers; pain that causes you to limp,
- Remember it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Online entries close on Saturday 3 March and are available at www.racetraq.co.za at no additional cost.
Pre-race number bib collection and late entries will take place at the Cape Union Mart adventure store inside The Constantia Village Shopping Centre on the following days: Thursday 8 March from I0 am to 3 pm; Friday 9 March from I0 am to 3 pm; and on race day between 5 and 6 am. Only cash registrations will take place on Friday, 9 March from 10am – 3pm. Limited late entries may be available at number collection, dependent on the number of pre-entries sold and any capacity restrictions imposed by the relevant authorities.
Starting times: 6:15 am for the I5 km Road Race, 6:30 am for the 15 km League Walk and 6:45 am for the Fun Run.
Entry fees: R70 for licensed athletes; R115 for unlicensed athletes; free entry for runners 70 years and over (ASA Licence excl); R25 for the 5 km Fun Run
Start: Opposite Constantia Village Shopping Centre, Constantia Main Road, Constantia
Finish: Alphen Field
Cut-off time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Prize-giving: 9:15 am at the Alphen Hall Courtyard