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Tip #42: Race Day- The Recovery

Tip #42: Race Day- The Recovery

The race is over. You have done your best and now whether you have done a PB (personal best) or a PW (personal worst), it is time to recover and enjoy the ‘afterglow’

May I suggest that if possible soon after your event, to rehydrate and eat. Splash out on a treat for yourself. When you get home, more food. Yea. And maybe a nap after a warm bath or shower (if circumstances allow).

Give yourself some days off hard training if you are continuing your training. Easy and active recovery does not mean no running at all. It just means easy running for a period roughly a day for each 1 or 2 kilometers of your event. So, that means one week for The Dash, a couple of weeks for The Chase  three weeks for The Zoom and a month off hard training for The Ramble

See you next year!!


Tip #41: Race Day tips- The Taper is over- The Day has arrived!

Tip #41: Race Day tips- The Taper is over- The Day has arrived!

To get ready for the exciting day, may I recommend three things.

  1. Wake early and prepare and dress in your running clothes (or better still put on your already prepared running clothes from the night before).

  2. Eat light an easily digestible meal low in fibre such as a banana and piece of toast with honey, or whatever you know is good for you. Give yourself plenty of time to sit on the loo for effective toileting!

  3. If you are sick, consider your goals. Don’t run if you have a fever or some undiagnosed illness that will endanger your health if you compete. If you are a bit crook, revise your goal to an easier effort. Maybe a ‘social run’ :-)

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Tip #40: Race Day tips- The Taper- The night before

Tip #40: Race Day tips- The Taper- The night before

Lack of sleep. Is that a problem?


Think of three things before your Stampede race.


  1. Hydrate with non alcoholic and non caffeinated drinks. Don’t worry if you have to get up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Sleep is not critically important the night before.

  2. Eat light. I made the mistake of eating two big meals the night before a marathon once and during the race I stopped at the portaloos more than once for ‘number 2’s’. Just have your normal meal but less.

  3. Go to bed early if you can. Rest rather than sleep is important in the last night. You may be nervous. That is okay as it is normal. It is your body getting ready for your event.

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Tip #39: Race Day tips- The Taper- In the last week

Tip #39: Race Day tips- The Taper- In the last week

What you do in the week leading up to a race, especially a long one like a Half Marathon or Marathon can greatly affect the outcome on event day.


Here are some things not to do in the last week:

  1. Stay a little dehydrated. Drink little water and too much alcohol

  2. Eat little or too much ‘rubbish’ food

  3. Stay up late and get less sleep than usual

  4. Become anxious about the event, thinking that it is the most important thing ever

  5. Become irritable with those closest and dearest, and expect them to understand

  6. Put in a few hard training sessions, to ‘finish off’ your fitness


On the other hand, if want to get to the starting line in as good a condition as possible:

  1. Drink a couple of liters of water per day, and no alcohol

  2. Eat quality carbohydrates and avoid eating too little (or too much)

  3. Get to bed earlier than normal

  4. Relax and remember, it is only a race

  5. Be nice to your friends and family

  6. Reduce your volume of training by a good 50%

Here is more good advice below:

Tip #38: Race Day tips- The Taper- When should it start?

Tip #38: Race Day tips- The Taper- When should it start?

The Taper begins after your last long run, usually 3 to 4 weeks from your Rhino Ramble Marathon, 10 to 14 days from your Zebra Zoom Half Marathon, 7 to 10 days from your Cheetah Chase 10 km and about 5 to 7 days from your Dingo Dash 5.5 km.

For the taper it is the amount of running that is reduced, not intensity (except maybe for the last 2 or 3 days perhaps when you might also reduce speed slightly any faster running in the plan). So don’t run slower, run less.

There is no ‘hard and fast’ rule about the reduction amount, but a guide could be 50% to 60% less kilometers in the last week, 30% to 40% in the second last week, and 10% to 20% less in the third last week (if you are running the marathon). That means that the biggest reduction is in that last week for the Zoom or Ramble, or days if you are running the Dash or Chase.