Far from being an expert runner now, but after running my second Great Scottish Run half-marathon last week, I just thought I’d share a couple of (impromptu) strategies that helped me take my time down and get these wings going!
There were supposed to be pacers in the crowd, that you’d be able to follow if you wanted to achieve a certain time. They would carry a big lollipop with the intended completion time. Never found them, so I decided to find my own “lollipop” and started keeping an eye on a girl who was just a bit ahead of me and seemed really steady. I lost her at some point, but then found a little rabbit man who did the job.
I realised about half way through that looking at the ground, focusing on my breathing and forgetting about the world around was helping me be more consistent in my pace, and increase my speed. It might not work for everyone, especially if you like seeing the buzz around you, but it might be a winning technique for some.In any case, find out what you are comfortable thinking about: your breath and technique, happy memories, your loved ones, the finish line and meal you’ll have after…Or like me forget about everything and focus on my shoes and the beats in my ears.
Make sure to load up with carbs with a nice pre race breakfast. I had a large bowl of oats topped with a banana and almond butter 3 hours prior, then a protein shake a bit later, and an energy gel just before the race.
Drinking during the race is super important, but frequent and small amounts work better for me…too much bouncing does not agree with loads of fluids!
That’s my three key takes for this race. Maybe a marathon next time…!
Other resources that helped me prepare:
Runner’s World A fab website full of resources about anything runners might want to know. I track their updates on Facebook.
BBC Good Food For tips on what to eat!
Going to a fitness club (This club in Glasgow is amazing). I find that good overall fitness is important as a supplement to running training.