1. Stay calm – pre-race nerves are normal. That excitement is important, and if you channel it right, it’s a weapon.It can become a liability, however, if it gets you too hyped up, and you start out too fast.So keep calm, and absorb the excitement and great atmosphere at the start, without letting it become overwhelming.
2. Have a plan – that doesn’t mean you have to run the race with military precision, hitting distance targets right down to the second (though you can if that’s your personality type!). It means knowing in advance what you hope to feel, how you hope to structure your run. Thinking ahead means you’re never surprised, and that is important because it will help you spend your energy wisely.
3. Aim to finish strong – adopting the right pacing strategy is vital, and there are various pacing charts that can help guide you as to how you should run in order to achieve your goals. However, if there’s one thing running through your mind, it should be “I will finish strong”. Your goal should be to run the final 8km (from the top of Southern Cross Drive) feeling strong, powerful and in control. If you get that right, you’ll have judged the race perfectly, so make that a mantra.
4. Walk before you’re forced to. In your training, we’ve designed the long runs to include walk breaks for a reason. They help you recover, and that means that you never reach that point of being forced to stop and walk. Bring this philosophy into the race, and don’t be scared to take opportunities to walk, even if it’s just for 30 seconds while you drink some water or Powerade. You won’t lose much time at all, especially if you walk on the uphills. What you want to avoid is walking the downhills, and being forced to walk for minutes at a time.
5. Enjoy it! You will be surrounded by thousands of people on the same journey, and the energy is contagious. You’re all sharing a challenge, but also an experience, and that provides so much energy that it will carry you through the bad times when they come (and they always do, at least once – it’s not a challenge without them!)Stay positive, remind yourself that you’ve done this before, in training, and prepared well, and lift your spirit using that thought, and the energy of those around you!