SINGAPORE - Race days are often the highlight of an athlete's career. When so much is on the line, every step you take prior to your race day is crucial.
TAKE IT AS JUST ANOTHER DAY
One of the biggest secrets to success is to, ironically, approach race day as an average training day. While it is important to prepare well, you should not try to make the day an unusual one, especially if you are thinking of experimenting or trying something new.
Prepare your equipment the night before, like your shoes, socks, shorts and singlet (pin your number bib). It is important not to wear anything you have not worn at least three or four times before, preferably for your training sessions. You would not want to experience any unexpected discomfort during your race. Tapes and lubricating gels should be used to cover sensitive body parts that are prone to abrasion.
If you are listening to music, prepare the playlist beforehand.
GET SOME SLEEP
It is normal to be anxious before your race - all your hard work culminates in this one day.
It is usual to not have the deepest sleep the night before your race. Even top athletes are not spared the sleeplessness and anxiety before race day.
It is actually the sleep several days out that plays a bigger role in your performance on race day. So try not to think about your race that night.
If you are racing at a time that is not during your usual training hours, it is best to slowly adjust your sleep and training patterns accordingly, at least eight to 10 days before the marathon. This will also greatly help in your sleep for the night before the race.
HAVE A SIMPLE MEAL
Have breakfast at least three hours before the start of the marathon, preferably food with a low glycemic index, so that your blood glucose level rises slower and more steadily. Avoid acidic fruit and fruit juices, and go for bananas. It will be best to stay away from dairy products too.
MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE START LINE
Always be early for your race, and plan your way to the start line taking into account road closures, long queues, and huge crowds.
Get in your dynamic warm-ups.
STICK TO YOUR RACE PLAN
Facing competition often raises adrenaline levels, and naturally, you would have a tendency to run too fast in the first few kilometres. It would be prudent to hold off in the first 10 minutes and start slightly slower than your planned race pace. If you are using fixed splits for different intervals (e.g. the 5k, 10km, or 21km mark), write them down on your forearm. Having a quick look makes it easy to check whether you are following the race plan.
Have a blast at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.