Friday, 20 June 2014

Pain is only temporary.....

Well, here we are on the eve of the race! Where did the time go?
All of the training and preparation, the early mornings, the miles and miles done in all weathers have brought you to this point and it will all have been worth it.
Now is the time to finalise your preparations and to relax as much as possible. You won't sleep well tonight as the anticipation sends your mind racing however, it is not the sleep you get on the night prior to a race which is important (it is never fitfull), but rather the sleeps on the two or three preceeding nights which count. You were much more relaxed at that point and will have slept better than you will tonight.

The forecast is for a hot day so it will be important to increase your fluid intake to compensate for fluid loss due to the conditions. Equally important is drinking the correct fluids i.e. not simply water. Mix it up with isotonic drinks, tea, coke, fruit juices and if required, Dioralyte. This is great for replacing minerals lost due to excessive perspiration but on the down side, it tastes pants. Whatever you fancy really or can get your hands on but the golden rule is to keep hydrated! Remember: if you feel thirsty, its too late and you are already on the road to dehydration.
Ideally, today should be spent hydrating by drinking lots of fluids. Most will pass through but your body will retain what it needs. Do the pinch test on the back of your hand to give a rough guide to how hydrated you actually are. This is a rule of thumb really because younger people have better elasticity in their skin than older people so results will vary. However, the premise is that when pinched, the quicker the skin falls back to its normal position, the better hydrated you are. If it snaps back, chances are you are good to go. If it sinks down slowly, seek out a tap.

One of the problems with drinking lots of fluids to combat dehydration is that it can fill your stomach which in turn tells your brain it is full and your brain then declares that you are not hungry and so you don't eat anything. It is important to realise that this may happen and to be aware of it and ensure you do eat otherwise you will rapidly run out of energy.
Weather like that forecast makes what is already a difficult task somewhat more challenging. The 2010 race saw similar weather and a lot of entrants suffered in the heat especially going up the Sloc in what would have been the hottest part of the day.

Should push come to shove and you feel like you can't continue, take 10 or 15 minutes out sitting in the back of your support vehicle and use the time to eat, drink, change clothing and re-apply sun screen. I can guarantee that you will feel like a new person at the end of this period and you will be able to carry on in a much better frame of mind.
I can also state with conviction that if you do give up before you reach your goal, that by the time you get home you will feel ok and will wish you had carried on.

I hope you do well tomorrow and that you reach your intended targets. The only person who can stop you getting there is you.

Good luck and good walking!

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