Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Primer for out-of-town races

This is what I've learnt when participating in an out-of-town race:
1. Book your hotel early. Do it once you've confirmed your race participation. Don't show up the day before race day trusting your luck. The hotels in the vicinity will tell you they're full. You won't want to shell out for a 4-star room. At least most towns have a 24-h McDonald's or Starbucks now.
2. Eat 1-2 bananas per day starting at least 2 days before race day. You need to prime yourself to answer the call of nature before it even rings. Whatever distance you run, exertion-induced shit cramps are never welcome.
3. Prioritize proper eating. Out-of-town races mean reconciling travel eating habits (usually haphazard) with the necessary proper nutrition. You've trained for the race all these months; it doesn't make sense to risk your prospects with that aromatic meal from that rickety stall in that shady alley (you know the type). Save it for after.
4. Give yourself time. Arrive early enough to get a feel of the lay of the land, collect your race pack, investigate local attractions, and rest. Stay for a day or two to make the most of your mini-holiday.* Friends and family will loathe you for planning things so well.
*Hopefully, you'll have enough annual leave days and funds for the "actual" holiday season as well.

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