Mar 19 , 2019

Here's My Advice on Preparing For A Long Distance Run, Walk, or Bike Ride

I was work tired, undertrained, unprepared and ended up blistered, dehydrated and painfully exhausted, with no energy. I hadn't prepared properly, did everything wrong, struggled to the finish and vowed never to run another one.
As for the recovery, there was none and I ached for weeks after, even went to the G.P. for advice.

Nobody thinks about what the best way to recover is but this is very important. 
I've now won many races and coached top distance Athletes to success. So here is my advice on the best ways to prepare.


Make the final week as easy as possible. Have a quiet time at both work and home. Try to stay off your feet as much as possible for the last few days. And get the "maximum amount of sleep" during this week. This "can make up for the final night", which can be a restless one. (If on the other hand you are tired during the week, don't get enough sleep, fatigue can develop early in the race).

Avoid alcohol during this final week, as this can lead to dehydration, particularly if race day is hot or humid.

Carbohydrate load for at least 3 or 4 days leading up to the race. At least 60% carbohydrate and low in fats and protein (below 30%). Eat food you are familiar with for carbo-loading. It would be potatoes and vegetables, rice, pasta, bread, toast, fruit, cereals etc.

Assemble a medical kit. Vaseline, scissors, elastoplasts, towel, bottle for drinking water, powder for inside shoes, Percutane Sports Warm Up Cream.

Get a good leg massage anytime the week before the race. It will help your performance.

Make sure you have read and understood the race pack information for the race.

It's a good idea to make out a "race day time-table" for your final countdown. This must include dressing, breakfast etc and most important "estimated preparation time" for you to get to the start, find a parking place, get organized and proceed to the start. (Please ensure you have plenty of time to spare in case of any traffic delays.

Run and experiment with your intended race drinking solution, to get the body used to this important function.

Medical Advice -
If you are unwell, have a temperature or infection, you may check it with your doctor, but frankly it is best to withdraw from the race to avoid mid or after race trials and worsening of the condition.

Concerning Carbo Depletion -
If you have not tried carbo-depletion before it would be unwise to do it for the first time leading up to the race. Some runners swear by it, but others have found it made them unwell and very weak so it is not generally recommended for inexperienced runners. I.e. worth the risk.


1. Don’t overload with carbohydrates. Eat your normal size meal. You could be a little nervous but your body does need the fuel. Eat and digest the food slowly. You may drink only water with this meal to assist the carbo-water uptake. (Certainly no alcohol, or carbonated drinks at this time). Drinking plenty of water will reduce the risk of dehydration the next day.

2. Check equipment before going to sleep: -
a. Bottle of fluid drink.
b. Racing clothing.
c. Racing shoes.
d. Race number and pins.
e. Medical kit (including Vaseline to prevent chafing, and Percutane warm-up rub to prevent muscle cramps.
f. Towel.
g. Warm clothing for after race.
h. Rain jacket if wet day.
i. Gear Bag.
j. Toilet paper. ( It is common to want to go to the toilet before the race starts, and often in big races there is insufficient toilet paper).
k. Extra tee shirt (to wear under your lightweight racing singlet if it happens to be a very cold and wet day).
l. Stop watch.
m. Set the alarm clocks - this race starts very early in the morning. Two clocks are better than one!
n. Relax before you go to bed. Put the race as far out of the mind as possible, unwind, listen to some music or watch TV.
o. It is important to go to bed reasonably early the night before a race - say 8.30 - 9.30pm.


Breakfast - try to eat breakfast at least 2-4 hours before the race. It should be light and easy to digest carbohydrates, such as toast. Bagel, cereal, bananas. Don’t' eat a fried or high fat breakfast, acid fruit.

Drink plenty of water. 1/2 litre at least to ensure you are well hydrated before the race.

Take a warm relaxing shower - this will help to wake you up and prepare the muscles for the race.

Get dressed. It is a good idea to cover the nipples with plastic elastoplasts or at least use Vaseline to prevent chafing. Also plenty of the Vaseline to any other area which may chafe and cause pain during the race. Thus - under arms, inner thighs, groin. ( May be also susceptible areas on the feet if this has been a problem during training). To help prevent tight muscles and cramps, apply a small amount of "Percutane Warm-up Crème" to quads hamstrings and calves.

Before leaving home, go to the toilet.

If it is raining or cold - keep warm until the final countdown.

45 - 60 minutes - go to the toilet if necessary.
20 - 30 minutes - Warm up jog. Start this at least 20-30 minutes before the start time (to stimulate the blood flow into the muscles - preparatory oxygenation).
10 - 15 minutes - get to the start line in plenty of time.
Focus on the race.
Check shoe laces are double tied.
Stay loose and relaxed.


a. Don’t start too fast.
b. Settle in for the first 5k or so.
c. Run with a steady effort. Maintain a comfortable even pace, work the arms going up hill to drive the legs and avoid going to fast on the downhill parts (or you may pay for it later on by getting muscles cramps).
d. Keep to your race plan.
e. Drink regularly during the race particularly if it is hot or humid.


a. As soon as possible after the race put warm clothing on. "this is very important". The immune system is tired and overworked, making it very easy to get a chill or cold.
b. Ask any marathoner what they want after a race. The answer is likely to be a good leg massage. Arrange this before or after the race to hasten the recovery from fatigue. ( A "light" rub (massage) only is recommended. Not a deep tissue rub which can aggravate certain conditions).
c. Drink plenty of fluid (water) or electrolyte for 24 hours to re-hydrate the body.
d. A hot shower or soak is not recommended after a hard run. The leg muscles will respond better from a warm to cold shower.
e. Carbohydrate is the most appropriate food to eat for the first meal after the race. Bananas and oranges, bread, rice, spaghetti etc. This will elevate blood sugar and assist recovery. However avoid excessive sugar loaded drink or food which can cause undesirable sugar rush reaction and headaches.
f. Plenty of rest will assist recovery. Avoid excessive entertainment, alcohol or dancing.
g. Our cooling recovery product "Traumitane " cream is recommended for sore, tired, aching muscles after the race and daily during the recovery week.