With the Pearl iZUMi Bundy Run fast approaching, Pearl iZUMi team member and seasoned trail runner Charlie Nowacki shares some of his tips for a great race in this quick Q&A.
Q: Race day is on Saturday, what should people be doing now to make sure they are best prepared?
At this point rest is best. Especially two nights before a race given many people get nervous and might toss and turn the night before the big day. I’m a big fan of taking off two days before a race, then doing a short easy run the day before with four or five 20 second pick-ups. Keep it short thought, 20-30 minutes tops.
Q: We hear a lot about carb loading in the lead up to a race (particularly the longer distances) – what are your thoughts around this?
Diet can be very tricky. My suggestion is stick to what you’ve been eating and don’t make any drastic changes. Well, that is unless your normal diet consists of egg & bacon rolls, Tim Tam’s, pretzels and beer. But if that’s the case your race day readiness should be the least of your concerns. In all seriousness, the worst thing would be to eat heaps of something that isn’t normally in your diet as the body might react poorly with an upset stomach, nausea, lethargy, and other inconveniences. If carbohydrates are a normal part of your diet, chances are you don’t really have to carb load leading into a half marathon or shorter distances. Having said that a nice pasta dish with good lean protein, veggies, and fat is one of my favourite night before meals.
Q: You’ve run the course a couple of times, any top tips?
I think this is a good course to go out a bit hard to avoid getting stuck in bottleneck areas where the course narrows down to single track. So start pretty fast and work hard on the initial climbs before getting a breather on the first downhill section. That said, there are plenty of areas to pass, so don’t fret if you get stuck behind some slower folks.
Q: How should I warm up pre race to make sure I start well?
This is really dependant on what distance you’re competing in. The shorter the race, the better one ought to warm up as you won’t have time to do so during the race. I like 20-30 minutes with 8 or so stride outs (accelerations to top speed and decelerate back to easy pace). You want to get good and sweaty, so don’t be afraid to get your heart rate up.
Be mindful of your footing. There are some seriously technical sections for those brave (or foolish?) enough to do the quarter or half marathon distance. Take your time and go at your own pace in these technical areas. A little extra caution is better than taking a tumble which may end your race outright.
Q: Any other top tips from the team at Pearl iZUMi?
Don’t try anything new be it equipment, nutrition, strategy. Save experiments for training days.
Have fun and encourage those around you. Be thankful your healthy choices and lifestyle enable you to tackle such an amazing event.