The UGM Runners’ Blog is our series of blogs dedicated to our International Runners. Written by a former UGM Runner, these posts share training tips, fundraising ideas and travel advice- all designed to help our 2016 Runners get the best out of their six-day adventure… and the weeks leading up to the event!
There’s now, unbelievably, only 11 days until race day!!!
So, with the big day fast approaching and many of you now travelling to Uganda in the next few days, we’ve got some tips on how to tackle Race Day itself!
Based on the experience of two of our former 2015 runners (including our running expert Mark), here are 10 tips to help you through the 10K, 21K or 42K course.
1. Aim to hold a comfortable, steady pace throughout
Everyone will run at their own pace, depending on training and ability. However, as a rule, aim to run at a pace where you can hold a conversation. This will help you to avoid burning out too soon, and you can always pick up the pace towards the end if you wish!
2. Take advantage of every water station on your route
This one might sound a little obvious, but it’s essential as you’ll be running in Africa! Be sure to have a generous drink of water at each station to keep yourself hydrated.
We’ll be giving out bottles of water, so you can take it with you if you don’t fancy having it all at once!
3. Hydrate well on the days leading up to Race Day
Talking of hydration…it’s also important to drink plenty of water on the days leading up to the race. This is pretty good advice anyway if you’re on holiday in Africa and even more so if like yourselves, you’re doing a big physical challenge at the end of the week.
4. Eat a good breakfast on the morning of the race
It’s really important to eat a good breakfast before the race starts to ensure your body has plenty of fuel, and to do so in plenty of time before you start to exercise too.
Don’t worry- we’ll have breakfast ready nice and early on Race Day, with plenty of food and drink to fuel you up!
5. Don’t forget your fuel for the race!
Due to the number of people taking part in the race, we can only provide water at the stations. Therefore, make sure to bring your choice of fuel/food/nibbles/gels/snacks to have during your race.
After roughly 90 minutes (of exercising) your body will run out of fuel from breakfast, so it’s essential to have top-ups. Otherwise, your race will become much, much harder!
6. Lay out your running gear the night before the race
This is especially important if you are staying at camp, as when you need to get up (around 5am) it will be dark.
Therefore, lay out everything the night before and you’ll know you’re ready. This will also help you to have a better night’s sleep, knowing you’re all ready to go the next morning!
7. Running in a group can really help
Running in a group or in a pair can really help. You’ll be able to motivate each other and share the awesome experiences you’ll have during the race. A social element can really add something to your event!
8. Walk if you want to!
Many of our participants are walking the course, and they’ll be happy to have more join them if for some reason you no longer want to run the race.
The same applies even if you’re running- feel free to take walking breaks if you feel the need to. I certainly walked some segments of the 42K last year, and it helped me enjoy the experience all the more!
There’s no time limit, so there’s no pressure!
9. Break up your race into manageable segments
This is one of my personal favourites! Whenever I do a race, I break it up into quarters so it seems much more manageable (and achievable!).
It’s down to preference how you break it up, but it’s probably best to keep it nice and simple if possible.
10. Don’t forget sunscreen!
Our final tip and one the most important tips on this blog….remember your sunscreen! You’re going to be out there walking or running for a long time, so make sure you’ve got adequate protection from the sun.
Finally, have a great trip as you all travel to Uganda over the coming days. From my experience as one of the runners last year, you’re in for an absolutely fantastic week and the experience of a lifetime!
Thanks for reading and see you all in Uganda soon! 🙂
Want to read more?