Kathryn Cleary is a journalist at Grocott’s Mail, as well as an avid long-distance runner. Here is how she is preparing for the GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive half marathon.
It’s the day before the big race, maybe even your first half-marathon. It’s ok to feel nervous and demotivated, it happens to all of us. Lucky for you, today is full of food, rest and relaxation. Because you will be running 21.1km, you need to make sure your body is fuelled up for a successful race. That means carbs, carbs and more carbs. You will want to increase your calorie intake for the day to keep you going through the race tomorrow. Make sure your meals are packed with good carbs, protein, vegetables and fruit. Though it is tempting to indulge in breads and pastas, try to keep the gluten to a minimum. Go for some sweet potatoes, brown rice or other whole grains. Dried fruit and nuts are also a smart idea. My go-to dinner before a long run (anything more than 15km) is gluten-free pasta with some roasted vegetables, garlic, chilli and fresh basil. I also steal some of that dark chocolate I’ve hidden away in my cupboard. After a good dinner, a quick muscle massage is not a bad idea. Take some warm coconut oil and massage your legs or other sore muscles, this will help you for the race. Afterwards, be sure to get plenty of rest. Get to bed early, and try not to stress. Every race should be a fun experience, and remember, it’s not about how you start, it’s about crossing that finish line.