There are endless articles out there giving runners advice on how to run well, race fast, train harder, be better. There is good advice, and there is bad advice. Unfortunately, the rules are constantly changing, and something we are told is good for us, can be found TERRIBLE for us the following year (without us even realizing!).
Remember when we were all on no or low fat foods?
Those days are now gone. We are told to eat full fat foods.
A few weeks ago, when I was on my trip to England, a member of the Running for Real Superstars Community (Hi Eddie!) wrote a post wishing another member (my podcast editor actually), Jeremy, good luck on his 10 mile race the next day.
The post was flooded with comments wishing Jeremy luck, but also something else. Something you might not expect; bad advice.
Eddie had asked the community to give Jeremy the worst advice they could think of. Not to sabotage him, it was clear it was a joke, but to point fun, here is the OPPOSITE of what you should do. To bring a bit of fun to the situation, when the night before a race can be a little scary. We all know that.
I thought it would be fun to make it into a post, and I would love to add your “worst advice ever” into the post if you leave a comment below.
How many of these have you tried?
Relax tonight with some spicy Mexican food washed down with lots of beer.-Kathy Feaser Zaverella
Make sure to drink 3-4 bottles of water right before the race. Disclaimer…there may be a “surprise” around mile 5.- Kathy Feaser Zaverella’s Daughter
Haggis, the real breakfast of champions. Also, these things work exactly like roller derby so study up on YouTube videos of that- Richard Osborne
Eat lots of steak leading up to it!- Jill Ormond Whitaker
Wear all cotton! Lots of cabbage and cauliflower tonight. It’ll give you that extra kick at the finish!- Troy Hanson
Weave in and out of people as much as you can to make sure you don’t let anyone stay in front of you for long. The best thing to do is try to lead from start to finish. Remember it’s called a RACE for a reason. Try barefoot running – I’ve heard it’s a game changer. Do a practice run tonight- practice makes perfect- Stacey Sangster
Bring your own hydration. I’d say a pint of beer every two miles should do it.- Julie Atkinson
Please keep in mind that Everything depends on this race! Not only your worth as a runner but also on a human being in general. If anything goes wrong, all your efforts of the last month were completely in vain!- Julia Heiduschka
Listen to those voices that tells you it’s too hard, that you can’t finish. The discomfort will only get worse and worse, so pull out as soon as you feel just a little tired. If you see a shortcut, use it! Jump on a bus for part of the race. The result is all that matters. Fibres are the best fuel, so have lots of roughage the day before. And then try not to go to the bathroom the entire morning. Having urges to go will motivate you more to finish. A cigarette just before the start helps opening up the lungs. If it’s going to be hot, make sure to layer up, especially in black, to keep the heat out.- David Skytte
Don’t check what time it starts, just wing it. If you get there late then make sure you park illegally somewhere on the course – perhaps around the 8.5 mile mark – and run it in from there, no-one will notice.- Jo Bourke Martignoni
All new kit from head to toe. It’s not a real race unless you have mammoth blisters on your feet and all kinds of chafing in various parts of your body.- Allison McArthur
Skip the water stations. Your body is mostly water anyway. The extra weight will only slow you down.- Mary Scott
Take a gel every 45 seconds- Russell Gump Forest
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago…the best time for fireball shots is mile 6.-Eddie Valen
Screw the hydration vest, you need one of these bad boys! (a beer dispensing hat) As others have said, lots of beer will see you through, and I am concerned about chaffage as well. You need to smother your entire body in milk and honey..- Pete Davy
Find a pair of shoes you have never run in before, they will be lighter. Skip the socks too to save weight.- Peg DeBiasi
A spiffy new outfit is a must – remember, you’ll be on display for 10 miles! Except for the shoes – you want those to be comfortable, so grab the oldest, most well-worn pair. Oh, and whatever you do – don’t warm up!!! You need to conserve energy.- Sally H Pontarelli
You don’t want to run out of energy midway through. So pack an energy dense meal to bring along and consume everything about 30 min before the start. I’m thinking potato salad with mayonnaise, a couple of brats and a slice of pecan pie. Wash down with plenty of electrolyte drink.- Florian Jonas Kraemer
Eat a block of cheese- Jennifer Barbara
Be sure you have a hangover, and then run a 5K PR off the line.-Daphne Matalene
I hear all the Ultramarathoners drink melted ice cream and they can run for hours and hours so you should probably carry a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with you instead of water. The more “stuff” in the ice cream the better.- Erin Keller
Take 5 raw eggs, mix them with a fork and pour into your water bottle then go straight to the start line among all the faster looking guys and down the egg mixture right before the start and shout “see ya later losers” to those around you while making an L shape with your fingers. No need to go to the toilet first and remember, fastest first mile counts- Steven Bonthrone
Chili cheese fries are the best pre-race meal. And by pre-race I mean an hour before start time. Figure out your race plan now, even if it takes all night! Sleep is for the weak. I’ve heard wearing an “incontinence pad” can really cut down on the the bathroom stops too. Give that a try. If ya ain’t first you’re last.- Erin Cheyenne Staker
Definitely grab some Gatorade from the bottles you see along the way! They come in different colors based on hydration level, ranging from whitish to dark yellow, sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find one in red!- Nicole Rivera
Drink your coffee right before you start.- Kris Hardwood
Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Unfortunately though, I have to confess to making more than a few of these mistakes in my time as a runner, and chances are you have made them too.
Send this to your new runner friends, and see if they think twice before they make any of these mistakes in their upcoming races and training.