Niall Tuohy’s Top 5 Tips for Runners – Viking Marathon 2016!
Keep to normal routine.
It’s the day before your race now, try not to change much in terms of routine. I will always try go to bed at same time that I usually do (by 10pm if its an early start), I eat the same meals before my races and use the same snacks as I do in training and generally keep a habitual process!
Change as little as you can from your normal routine and you increase your chances of having a good day out at the Viking Marathon!
Don’t second-guess your goals and preparation.
I have come across an incredible amount of people who second-guess and doubt themselves the morning of an event. Every weekend there will be races in Ireland where runners are talking themselves out of their race plan and goals. Don’t let this be you, especially not at the Viking Marathon! This is your day, be confident in your preparation and step to the line knowing you have sacrificed and prepared properly.
What if you haven’t prepared properly? To give you an example , I am racing in the 800m at the All-Ireland Championships this weekend in Dublin. My preparation and race results haven’t been as good as I would have hoped and I am only ranked 9th going in. Although I am aware of this, I won’t let it deter me from applying my race plan to try win or medal. Just look at the Irish soccer team to realise what a plan backed with passion can achieve. Do you want to be like the team that lined up against Belgium or the team against Italy? There is a difference when the attitude is right! Be confident and back yourself!!
Have the right race gear
Having functional, comfortable racing gear is so important! While I am a fan of the “look good, feel good, run good” philosophy, I only agree with it if you’re comfortable in the good-looking gear! Don’t wear completely brand new shoes, make sure they have had a few wears first and feel comfortable and wear comfy socks with them. Double knot your laces and don’t have them so tight that they cut off circulation to your feet! For the Viking marathon the weather looks fair, 18 degrees and overcast so you won’t need to wrap up too much so wear shorts and t shirt/vest that you’ve run in before and feels good – this is important! If you have a GPS watch is it charged fully? Will you bring a Gel with you? Have a checklist!
Get the food side right
You won’t achieve your best race performance without fuelling yourself properly. Drinking and eating at the appropriate time is crucial. I have never run a full marathon myself but I don’t think there is a set rule on which gels or supplements you should take, so take the one that’s right for you. Remember the routine…what do you normally eat before you run, try stick to it. Another good tip is to carb load at lunch the day before, not at dinner. If you eat too much too late at night it can often sit in your tummy! I find if I get nervous or tense before races, so my digestion slows so I need to allow a little more time! When I get nervous too I get the munchies but I know to resist this, once you know you’ve had enough food earlier its better to be a small bit hungry than bloated and full and belching (not a nice feeling on the start line!).
Put a smile on your face
I notice this a lot on social media – people talking about loving the training, posting their mileage on Facebook, saying how they love running. But then they get to the race itself and are feeling worried and anxious and they don’t perform the same. They think they have to feel and think differently because it’s a race – to take it more seriously. But actually, we are less capable when we take things more seriously than when we are having fun. When we are happy we are more energised. We’re more intelligent. The synapses in our brain fire better when we are happy. So we are actually better running with a smile on our faces. Enjoy your run around Waterford tomorrow and you might surprise yourself ! Good luck! Niall.
P.S. Each one of you will receive a Chia Bia Chia Seed Sachet in your goodie bag, so enjoy and welcome to the #ChiaBiaFam!