Basic race day tips for novice racers

Personal trainer Evan Wallman addresses frequently asked questions for novice racers

On April 3, 2016 Evan Wallman, a personal trainer at Medcan, finished Hamilton’s Around The Bay 30K in 2:12.30 with an average kilometer pace of 4:24. Today he’s showcasing the Athletic Performance Assessment at the Toronto Marathon Expo. 

marathon expo 2 april 2016

With Sunday’s weather forecasted at 7 ºC with some rain weather forecast is a little warmer (and a little wetter) for this Sunday’s Toronto marathon. Wallman whose past races include a 24-hour obstacle course in the Vegas desert, has these tips for novice racers this weekend:

What should I wear?

Wear layers for the early morning chill and a base set of clothing you have trained in before. Your top layers can be long sleeve shirts and pants you don’t mind discarding en route(items are often collected for donation). Also remember to pack another set of clothes to change into after the race – you will appreciate the dry, cozy comfort of dry clothes after 21.1 or 42.2 kilometers.

What should I eat before the race?

Again, don’t try anything new. Go for basic carbs like toast with a layer of peanut butter, jam or something you enjoy having like Nutella. You should have a nutrition plan in place for the race, and speaking with a registered dietitian is a great way to ensure your plan is customized to your needs and length of your run.

Should I run the day before?

This is a personal preference.  Most people will feel anxious before a race and feel as if they didn’t do enough training and will try to cram before the race.  Cramming can work for tests in university but it doesn’t work well for running races. If you want to run the day before a race keep it between one to five kilometers and stay at a low heart rate.

What kind of warm up do you suggest on race day?

Once again, don’ t try anything new. If you don’t have a routine warm up, I recommend taking it nice and easy for 10 to 15 minutes with five minutes walking, and 5 to 10 minutes light running while being able to hold a conversation the entire time.


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