Get ready to race and #clickyourclock


Are you racing this weekend? If so, your final preparations should soon be underway to be ready to run your best, lower your handicap score and then #clickyourclock on your result!

The #clickyourclock competition uses the results of all runbritain licensed events (including parkruns), each Wednesday to the following Tuesday, that have been uploaded by 12 noon each Wednesday. There is a column, that conceals a clock, alongside your result. When you click, it will reveal the percentage change in your runbritain handicap score from that result compared to your previous highest handicap score. All you have to do is make sure you improve your handicap score in your next race!

If you are racing this weekend, the hard work will already have been done but you can give yourself an extra advantage by getting the final couple of days right. This can make a big difference to whether or not you achieve your goal and lower your score.

Here are a few top tips to help you hit your target:

Control anxiety

As the big day draws near you may need to control your nerves and anxiety. If you are well organised you are more likely to remain calm and relaxed so ensure that you put some time aside on the day before the race to organise yourself and your kit. If your race number and timing chip has been sent in the post you should pin this to the front of your race singlet or t shirt and get your race kit out of the drawer and laid out ready. Pack a bag with your essentials that may include money, phone, snacks, isotonic/energy drink or water, spare clothes including socks and your racing shoes if you are wearing a different pair from the shoes you will travel and warm up in. Once you have finished your packing it will be time to relax without becoming bored so you should organise your relaxation time too. Decide what you are going to do in order to relax. Some light recreation such as going to the cinema or watching television would keep you off your feet or it may be more relaxing to write those letters that you never seem to have time to write! You should try to stay off your feet the day before a race so make your activity one where you are sitting down. Avoid shopping or gardening.

Plan your race

You should put some time aside before race day to consider your goal and expectations and think about how you will run the race in order to achieve them. How will you set off when the gun sounds? Will you go off easy or fast? What is the course like? Are there any long, straight parts or any hills to consider? How will you approach them? Where are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you good at running uphill or do you need to concentrate on getting into a rhythm and keep it going? Will you be able to finish fast? Where will you start your final push for home?

Optimal arousal

The nerves may well creep in on the day of the race and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you respond to them in a positive way. You are likely to run a better race if you are optimally aroused. This is a point somewhere between a state of relaxation and feeling jittery with nerves. You should be excited about the race and looking forward to the gun going off. You may need to consider how you get yourself into the right frame of mind on the day. Will you warm up with other people or would you rather take yourself off and warm up alone to continue your visualisation?

Establish a routine

If you have a pre-planned routine before the start of the race this will help to control your nerves. This may start the day before the race or on race day. Work back from the gun going off. Some of the things you need to factor in are eating and drinking and when to do this before the race, warming up, visiting the toilet (remember that there will be queues), collecting your number and pinning it onto your race top, collecting your race chip and putting it onto your racing shoes, finding your position on the start line etc. Once you have made a list of all the things that you need to do you can put it into a timeline and devise a routine to go through before the start. Your warm up routine can be rehearsed before race day. Get into the habit of carrying this out before training sessions. The other parts to your routine should stay the same at every race so that you become more relaxed as you become a more experienced racer.

By planning your preparation for a race you are effectively planning to carry out a good race where you will achieve your target. Good luck and happy racing! We look forward to seeing your result and your name on the leaderboard!