In just a few days it will be time to run. The 23rd Ljubljana Marathon is just around the corner. Sunday, 28th October. I am going to run the 10k this year and these last few days I’ve already started to think about what to wear, how to go to the starting line with all the roads closed, checking and rechecking the weather forecast and so on.
Which also got me thinking about some of my past races and some things I learned from them. There are a number of reasons running on races is great and I highly recommend it. But this time I’m focusing on things I did wrong.
Read on to learn my lessons so you don’t have to make these mistakes yourself.
1. I overdressed
A couple of years ago we had a very warm October, much like this year. I ran in shorts throughout. Then unexpectedly two days before the 10k, I signed up for it started raining and temperatures dropped significantly. On the day of the race, the sun was once again shining brightly but it was still cold as hell. My ears actually started to hurt after a mere 15 minutes outside.
So I suited up. I wore an ear band, 3/4 tights, and short sleeves. I was still incredibly cold on the starting line at 8 in the morning.
But then we started running and the atmosphere was amazing and the tempo was insanely fast for me and the sun started warming up. And about halfway I wasn’t cold anymore. Quite the opposite. By the 7th km I was so hot it actually got uncomfortable. I first took my ear band off and for the last 2 km, I actually tuck my shirt under my sports bra.
Lesson learned: for races you should always dress a level lighter than for your training.
2. I wore new socks
I bought these cute new sports socks from H&M. I still have them but I never wear them for running. Cross training yes, running no. Not even for training.
Why? The heel tends to slip down.
When did I discover this? But during a race of course!
I made the horrible mistake of wearing them for a race without ever trying them before that.
They have since then added a rubber band on the inside that is supposed to keep your sock from sliding down and I think it’s quite effective but I still don’t wear these for runs. I love them for cross training and everyday use though.
Lesson learned: it does not go just for socks. Never ever wear anything for a race that you haven’t try before during training. Multiple times actually. Same goes for accessories like water belts and the likes.
3. I looked up the wrong route
Well, this one is more of an honest mistake. I can’t say for sure it won’t happen again.
There was this race with a very hilly route and I accidentally opened up the route for the previous year. And I made this whole plan based on when I thought the steepest part would be. Turns out the initial flat part was much longer than expected and I ran it much too fast which left me too tired to run the hill part properly.
It’s highly unlikely this could happen to you but still.
Lesson learned: always double check your route and if you can try running it before the race.
So there you have it. 3 mistakes I will surely not be repeating in future races.
What lessons have you learned while running on race day?
Let me know in the comments!