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Congratulations! We've all made it to the final week of training and started to enjoy the steady taper. But what should we do on race day to ensure we're ready and raring to go?
A warm up is the last key element to consider before the starting horn sounds. The goal of the warm up is to prepare the body for the event ahead by increasing heart rate, breathing rate and blood flow to the muscles. Essentially, it primes the body to work more efficiently during the race.
Remember that your pre-race activity shouldn’t be too strenuous or extensive. A warm up is not designed to wear you out. Especially if you’re about to run a half marathon, where glycogen storage is important.
Timing is everything.
The timing of the warm up can often be more challenging to organise than the actual routine itself. I would recommend arriving an hour before the start time. This allows for the time you need to relax, eat your last snack, chat with friends, join the toilet queues, pin on your numbers and warm up.
The warm up.
A ten minute jog with 5 x 100 metre strides is an adequate pre-race warm up. The pace doesn’t need to be too quick – start with a slow jog and build up gradually to hit your racing pace for the last couple of minutes. In fact, your strides should be actually slightly quicker than race pace: it’s a good sign if you begin to puff and draw in oxygen.
As with many things involved in marathon training, the key is trialing your warm up routine before the actual event. That way, you can determine what works best for you. Plus now that we’re tapering our training program, experimenting with a warm up is a great way to keep the legs moving while setting up your race day expectations.
Make sure you all rest up and eat well.
We look forward to seeing you on the starting line!
This week’s training program:
Tuesday, May 10th Fartlek/Interval
- Warm up x 10 mins (2km), 5 x 2 mins (easy pace, 1 min jog recovery), cool down (2km) = 7km
Thursday, May 12th Fartlek/Interval
- Easy 6km roll over
Saturday, May 14th Rest Day
- Rest up, or practice your race day warm up routine
Sunday, May 15th Race Day
- The big day, 23km half marathon.