How hot and humid as it been up in Auckland this last weekend? Very… is the short answer. Good times! Oh we are gonna have fun!
Edging closer to the race I thought I’d talk about the newbie mistakes I’ve made while running both in training and on the few race days I’ve had. If you haven’t already got a bit of a plan in place you probably should start thinking about it.
1: Out of the blocks too quick.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the crowd, all the positive vibes and beautiful runners around. I think every race I’ve started a kilometre in I’ve been surprised at the pace on my watch. This race I’ll hang back and hope to start at the back of the field to avoid burning out too soon.
2. Over hydration.
I visited Sydney last year in between my injuries and decided I’d do a run – 21.1 km’s worth. It was a big goal and would be the first time I did it. Half way through I was fatigued and looking for a shop for a little bit of sugar to bring my body back to life but there where none in sight. I had water though, so that would have to do the trick, with a little bit of electrolyte supplement of course. After reaching the goal I got to where I was staying and had a mouthful of food. In the shower I started vomiting and then spent 3 hours alone on the couch thinking I was dying with my head feeling like it was going to explode. Am I under hydrated? Over hydrated? Should I have water, or electrolytes? If I have the wrong thing will I sink into a coma? After struggling in a foreign land not knowing if I was dying or being over dramatic my Aunty suggested to take the electrolytes. I did and within five minutes all my symptoms vanished. Phew.
Because I’m not running long long distances I do not need too much water. Even a few days ago at 80% humidity and 25 degrees I had about 200 mls of water during the 1.5 hour run because I had hydrated well before the run. I felt great at the end of it too. James Kuegler has written some words on this topic. Now, we have been instructed to take a litre of water with us from Bethels which is very sensible, it is hot out there. Remember drink to thirst, not what I did and drink to energy levels.
3. Over doing it too close to race day.
The other issue with that 21 km… I had my first ever race 5 days later. That race was 18 km’s. I totally over did it and by the 10 km mark I had nothing left to give. Please don’t over do it this week, even if you don’t think you are ready. It’s time to look after your hot bod in prep for the big day.
4. The mistake I haven’t yet made.
In primary school my coach and I plotted to get my father to let me play rugby with a broken arm. We were going to wrap the cast really good, what could possibly go wrong… The 1980s was a heck of a decade, particularly in Rotorua. I’m not sure what my coach was thinking, except I was in fact quite an awesome number 12. My Dad was having none of it, and I think of this each time a race comes up and I’m broken. I almost ran three times last year with broken bones, which were still painful, not healed and had reduced my fitness through not being able to train. If you are nursing an injury, seek advice and follow that advice to the letter. You are precious, and you need to respect where your body is at, even if it’s soul destroying.