Top tips for 30th Great North Run success
WITH little over a week to go until this year’s Great North Run, the region is gearing up to celebrate the 30th birthday of the much-loved event.
Around 54,000 people – from elite runners to ambitious amateurs – are expected pound the famous 13.1-mile route next Sunday.
And as runners eagerly count down the days before they take on the Newcastle to South Shields course, experts are warning competitors to properly prepare during the coming week.
Simon Fairthorne, physiotherapist at Bupa's Centre of Sports Medicine Excellence, in London, said: “Start to taper your training over the final week with your last long run seven days before the race.
“During the coming week attempt no more than two light running or cross-training sessions at 60-70 % effort.”
Simon, who has worked with elite athletes across a range of sports, also recommends runners make sure they eat the right things in the immediate build-up to the race.
“If you have never tried carbohydrate loading before, don't try it the day before your first race,” he said. “Instead have a normal-sized home cooked meal. Just before bed, think about running well and visualise yourself crossing the finish line.
“On race day, don’t eat anything an hour before the race or during the first 30 minutes of the run as this can upset your blood sugars.”
Simon is also urging competitors to remember the golden rules of running on the big day.
“The benefits of stretching can last for up to 24 hours so don’t worry about when you stretch, just make sure you do. Run like a Rolls Royce not a Ferrari. This means build up your speed slowly, slow down for corners and come to a stop slowly.”
After the race, experts recommend giving your body the correct care it needs to properly recover from the 13.1-mile slog. “Icing ankle and knee tendons for 10 minutes after running can help to reduce the chance of inflammation and is not as uncomfortable as an ice bath,” advised Simon. “And your body needs a minimum of seven hours sleep to help heal injuries.”
This year’s run will see TV favourites Ant and Dec return to the region to set 54,000 runners on their way from Newcastle to South Shields.
The duo will follow in the footsteps of previous race supporters, including Sir Bobby Robson, Jonathan Edwards, cricketers Stephen Harmison and Paul Collingwood, and last year’s starter Sting.