Time to put finishing touches to your race

With only a week to the Straits Times Run at the Hub, the hardest part of your training is over and it's time to taper down and prepare for the event.

The routes of all three categories (5km, 10km and 21km) are now available online at www.straitstimesrun.com/route-map. It is very beneficial to look at your route and make mental notes of the hydration points, especially for those running the longer distances.

These points are often crowded and if you are gunning for a good time, it may be wise to carry your own hydration bag, belt or bottle.

If you don't like doing that, consider using a plastic bottle so that you can at least avoid the first couple of points which are usually more crowded. When the bottle is empty, just throw it away at designated dumping points. The big clean-up job will be made easier if everyone does their part.

Drinking while running is a useful skill, but it takes a bit of practice to do it right without spilling more than you consume and to not choke while out of breath.

Energy drinks are designed to replenish your body and should be your drinkof choice, especially if you are running the longer distances.

If you prefer water, try coupling it with energy gels to get some fuel back into your body and to delay muscle fatigue.

Remember to always take the gels with water as this helps to get them into your system. Never take energy gels and energy drinks at once as the sugar overload might cause discomfort to your digestive system. As always, it's a risk to try anything new on raceday.

Make sure you have tried the gels during training.

If you intend to wear the event T-shirt on race day, it's advisable to break it in by wearing it for training. You can also wear your tried-and-tested attire as you would want to be as comfortable and confident as you can in gear that you trust.

With a mass event like this, there's a great mix of runners with different experience levels, ability and race expectations. It's essential to have good etiquette and habits so that the experience will be more enjoyable for everyone.

Try to keep left if you are taking it slow. Even if you are fast, try not to hog the extreme right as there might be someone faster than you.

Avoid running abreast with friends or others of the same speed as this clogs the path. Avoid weaving so that you are more predictable to those overtaking you. If you intend to stop, always slow down gradually and to the side.

Finally, if you feel underprepared, don't worry about getting a good finish time. Treat it like a training run and aim to complete it safely.

This article was first published on Sep 20, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.