Eat plenty of carbs: This is the week to reach for the pasta or rice. Make sure you have enough fuel in your body to make it around the course. You don’t want to get to mile 20 and realise your sugar levels have crashed and you can’t go on.
Don’t change anything: The final week is not the time to start experimenting. If you don’t usually run with gels or dink water filled with electrolytes, then this isn’t the time to start. Your stomach may find the gels intolerable, and again, mile 20 isn’t the time to find this out. Likewise, don’t change your trainers or start wearing insoles or compression socks if this is not the norm for you.
Go on a short run: If you need to, get a short run in 2 or 3 days before the big day. A short run should get the blood to the muscles without fatiguing them.
Cut your toenails: Avoid trauma to the nail by cutting them short the night before.
Let the crowd disperse: It is easy at the start of a race to go with the pace of the crowd and completely forget the race plan. Try to stick to your own pace, as practiced in the training, and this will give you enough energy to make it to the end.
Get plenty of sleep: Being well rested will prepare you for the big day. You will feel more refreshed, energetic and less irritable. Need I say more?
Hydrate: Drink lots of water this week. Running makes you sweat, and sweat means you lose essential salt and water. If you don’t hydrate enough prior to the run, this could lead to light-headedness or headaches post-run.
Chill out: The night before the race is not the time to go partying. Have an early night and maybe watch a film, and just stick to 1 or 2 units of alcohol if any at all.
Prepare: If you haven’t thought about what time to set the alarm or which clothes to wear, then do it now! A seamless roll out of bed, into the breakfast will mean avoiding panic in the early hours of the morning. Remember, Kielder is generally not around the corner for most people so make sure you give plenty of time to get there.
Eat breakfast: At least two hours before the start of the race make sure you have something in your stomach. Aim for 200-300 calories which is carbohydrate rich such as porridge and a banana or cereal and toast.
And most important of all is to have fun! This is the day you have trained for. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line and all the glory that entails; in a few hours you will be doing it for real.