Replicating Race Conditions

Towards the end of your training, you’re supposed to copy the conditions of your race day. That means eat what you’d eat before the race, wear what you’re gonna wear for the race, tie your shoe laces the same way you plan to tie them for the race. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Problem is, I don’t have a plan. At all. I have questions…

First off, when do you eat your last meal before a 10pm half marathon? 8pm? And then what do you eat? Oatmeal? Rice? Pasta? Protein Shake? I’ve pretty much coasted on all my morning half marathons with a bowl of Cheerios and a Starbucks coffee. But if I’m honest, I’m pretty hungry by the time the gun goes off and end up “GU-ing” by mile 2. Then there’s the issue of being awake and energized enough to run from 10 to midnight when most of my long runs have been at 8am. Does it matter that I don’t train that late at night?

Look, I’m not going to run at 10pm before the race. I guess I’ve got to try out the food angle though. Try out the GU and the timing of it during the run. But that 10pm start keeps worrying me. I’m exhausted every night by 8pm. And that’s the time I’d be getting ready. I’m hoping adrenaline comes to my rescue and propels me from 8 to midnight. But in case it doesn’t, I’m way open to suggestions on how to fake it til I make it.

Bottom line – I think I’ve just been lucky in all races before this. In your 20’s you can just show up and hit sub 8’s. The older I get, the more I think I need to prepare, research, and make a real attempt at taking things seriously. It’s going to take a lot more than Starbucks this time.

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