On occasion I do get insights from running. Previous was about how barefoot running reflects life in a way that I need to look where I’m stepping, and in the case I do step on something sharp and or hard I need to react quickly. This run I got myself a hydration system for long run. I was planning for half marathon today.
On the way back, my feet started to become tender and the paved roads was getting hot from the sun. At some point I stepped onto a thorn, looking at my feet I saw how tiny and thin the thorn was, how easy it is to miss those little things. I actually had ran a few more steps thinking the thorn would drop off, like the sharp small rocks that I usually step on, but it lingered. Apparently it wasn’t enough for me to passively wait for it to drop off. Had I continued on, the thorn would have gotten deeper. I needed to stop, take a look at it, and take it out.
After that I realize there this little things in the past we could easily let go, but there are those thing that come back to bite us. The longer we leave it there, the deeper it gets. The more difficult it is to take it out, in some cases they become a part of the us. For better or for worse.
There are thing I need to deal with that I have postponed for so long, it upsets me when I remember that I haven’t done what I planned to do, for one reason or another. I need to organize myself. I have been pondering on how to organize myself better, I have researched on time management. I need to find the time to pick this small thorns out of my life, and run my life the way I want.<p
Despite the race event being on one day, it actually extends beyond that. There are 3 parts of race day
– before the race (pre-race day)
– during the race (race day)
– after the race (post-race)
Before the race
you obviously have prepared with training, most people would be tapering within a week to two weeks of the race. Lowering down intensity and distance, some people maintain short, medium to fast runs.
The 24 hours before some people do carbo loading, that is to eat and drink carbohydrates before the run. I would suggest to do no differently from what you have in the past during training. A common recommendation is to eat a full meal at the least 3 hours before the event, and hydrate youself 1 hour before. What I usually do is the night before i have a fullfilling late supper, and the moment i wake, drink 1-1.5 litre of warm or room temperature water, and the some bites to eat, e.g. Two peanut butter sandwich, a can of tuna, and maybe some fruits (usually bananas). The water drinking may initiate your bowel movement, and cause you to urinate. Do so before going off to the race location. The race organizers may have a warm up session, usually an aerobics session, I rarely join and i just do my own sets of warm ups and stretches.
During the run
During training i may have pushed myself to go further or faster. I am not racing against the elite runners, I am racing to complete the event and do my best. So for the first few kilometers i would really pace myself, sort of warming myself up. Trying not to be to excited by the crowd and speeding up. After that I just maintain my form and focus on that and my pace, a gps watch or smartphone app, or heart rate monitor, can help you maintain your pace. I sometimes admire the crowd filling up the road, and saying hello to the runners i often meet. When there is a supporting crowd, their applause often energizes, but becareful not to get too excited or else you would push yourself harder than necessary. At the the last few kilometers you may gauge yourself and decide whether you can speed it up, or just maintain your pace. Seeing the finishing line often tempts you to go for it though.
On hydration, for long distance runs i try not to rely on organizers and bring my own hydration pack, i take a sip almost every 15 mins, and everytime i feel thirsty. The only problem with this is i rarely bring extra weight during my runs. Some people can run without hydration pack, most elite runners don’t, they take from the water points, but in my my past experience the laggards often suffer from no water left at the waterpoints, therefore i keep myself ready.
After the run
At the end of the run, depending on the organizer, you may receive extra fruits or drinks, a finishers medal and/ or a certificate. Their usually is a prize presentation ceremony that may include entertainment, announcing the top runners, and lucky draw prizes. During this time i would be doing my own stretches, which includes squats for my gluts and hamstring, and lunges for my calf, i may even do arm stretches for my arms and shoulders. You’d be surprised how those would be affected. An ideal event organizer would prepare a meal, but rarely is the case. It is highly recommended for you to rehydrate and op up yourself with carbohydrate and protein within 30 mins of you event. This would also reduce the effect of DOMS, or delay onset muscle soreness syndrome. Basically the muscle pain you feel in the next 48 hours. You would feel the strain you place on different muscles of the body. I highly recommend stretching those parts up. Some people would go for a full body massage instead.
When I get back home or into my hotel room I would usually have my power nap. This usually to compensate for my early wake up for the race.
The next day i would rarely do a workout, give myself a rest, but at times i would like to go for a relax swim, it would give me a work out without straining my muscles. I do see people still running the day after a long run, I have only done that a few times. I would stretch the morning and night for the next 2 days. Then start my training again for the next race.
On hydration, I weigh myself before and after the run, and usually notice. 2kg difference, so i usually try to drink that much to replace the water i have lost.
Funny thing, I am promoting myself as a swim trainer so I set up a swim class page and its available on the menu.
But I have been blogging recently a lot about running, but that wasn’t available on the menu. I just realized that today when I was looking at the webpage on the laptop today. So I just added that. Now you can click on the menu and get a filtered list of posts on running.
Future additions is cycling. Right now I would like to get income from swimming lessons, and helping people who need resources on running. I will eventually combine these resources into a book.
This part is where most of my affiliate links are in the whole articles on running, I am just trying out how effective affiliate marketing is as well as sharing useful information for running. Please support me by clicking on the links. It will open a new window/tab. Get yourself something if you really feel that it is something that you can benefit from. Have fun reading and have fun shopping.
Shoes is obvious. It is what protects you from the harshness of the road. It is what people wear when they are running. Whether shoes provide any manner of performance can up for debate. Some research have shown that different types of foot would benefit from different types of shoes. And there are arguments on the part that the increased padding in shoes may have weakened our foot structure. I would suggest go to a foot clinic to scan your feet, and get the proper recommendations. DO NOT buy tight shoes that the sales person says it will stretch to fit your feet, because your feet will also try to fit the shoe. and your feet is already perfectly designed for your feet. If you were to wear a shoe, get the one’s with 0 degree elevation.
I have in the past years discovered the joy of Running barefoot. I save money from buying shoes 2-3 times a year. My feet hasn’t had an incidence of sprain. But the early periods, I did suffer from blisters. I may still suffer from blisters if I run too fast and to far, and if its too hot. My current limit on barefoot is 25km in under 3 hours at night. and 21km morning run. I will have another section on running barefoot. But if you can’t wait, read up on barefoot running on amazon.
I highly recommend safety/running glasses. It would reduce the amount of debris going into your eyes during running. I actually bought one because I frequently had those issues. And I found that it was useful for running myself. I bought a pair of oakley sunglasses with prescription. I am near-sighted. I bought mine for USD$200.
Any cap would do. I wear caps under two conditions, It’s gonna be a long run on a hot day, or its a rainy day or night. Any cap would do. But I have seen people wearing caps with flaps that cover the rest of the neck. I guess it is useful for ultramarathons that run through mid-day.
Useful to place items such as your phone, keys, cards, extra money. Gonna be useful for especially long runs. I’d recommend at least the armband, If possible, get a specialized armband for your phone, it will fit snuggly. Additionally get a water proof one, you might be running in the rain, or you will be sweating like crazy. If you have an iphone get a sweat proof armband for running. Or if you use an android phone, there are general sports armbands.
Depending on your body weight, hydration requirements, running distance and time of day. I find that I can run 21km at night without any hydration. But when it is daytime, any running above 1 hours I will need some hydration. I will even wear during race events, just in case the organizer runs out of water. The laggards like myself often experience this. There was even a run where the water points had no water in the beginning of the race. so just be prepared. You can buy different sizes from 1 litre to upto 3 litres. Keep in mind that this adds to your weight. So highly recommended you train with the weight as well if you are training for marathon or ultramarathon runs. I personally bought and used a Caribee Stratos XL Hydration Pack.
Running Vests, or Fluid Race Vests and Hydration belts.
These are similar to Hydration packs, but these are belts or vests that you wear that can hold 2 to 4 water bottles. I have seen ultramarathon runners wear this. it is either for easy refills at the water stations, or for them to be able to put different liquids in different bottle. some people alternate between isotonic drinks, cold water, and energy drinks. I will cover hydration topics later.
either bottles held in hand or held in a strap in the hands. some people bring one, others bring two for balance. I don’t like anything have in my hands, so I don’t prefer it. but other may like it because it makes them look like a runner and not a hiker.
Night LED Lights
LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Lights have become a trend with night runs. It gives the runner visibility to other road users. I highly recommend it for night runners. LED lights comes in different forms, and runners may wear it on different parts. Some runners put it on the whole of their body that makes them look like a christmas tree. For some people it may look ridiculous, but more visibility is more safety.
Run Counter Traffic
You can see incoming cars more easily, and react accordingly. Car drivers may be able to see you from your front rather than your back. Where I am from most people run with the traffic. I think it is remnants of the race competitions that actually run with the traffic. But I think this is only for convenience of the traffic police and the organizer.
At a Junction
Look both ways before crossing. Go behind the outgoing cars, they rarely look both ways.
Wear lights, a lot of lights. Wrist band, arm bands, waist bands, headlights, shoe lights, shoe laces lights. The more lights you have the more visible you are, the safer you can be. But it is understandable that we don’t want to waste time wearing lights and just go run. I personally am satisfied with an arm band light and a headlight. But I have seen some people wearing a whole light set while running. I guess they were training all night, therefore they might as well be really visible at night.
Car drivers can sometimes be blinded by the bend, but still proceed with their normal speed anyway. Again counter traffic running is recommened, and additionally you may stretch your hands wide on your side to ensure that the driver can see you. This is probably also more effective if you have a lighted wrist band.