1. Dress for Success
On the morning of the race there’s usually a lot of waiting around, which is fine if the weather’s nice, but not so great if it’s cold or wet. Bring some old clothes to wear at the start and throw them away when you start the run. Also, don’t forget to pack some clean clothes for after the race, which you should put on as quickly as you can once you’ve finished. If you don’t have a loved one waiting for you, there are baggage buses that will transport your belongings to the finish.
2. There’s the Rub
Whilst out training, you may well have noticed chafing on certain parts of your body – and we’ve all heard of, or experienced, the dreaded jogger’s nipple. Don’t forget to apply vaseline to these areas before the race, especially if it’s a hot day. Forget, and you could be in for miles and miles of unpleasantness.
3. Need for Speed
Even the most experienced runners can get caught up in the excitement and hare off at a blistering pace – but setting off too fast is one of the biggest mistakes you’ll make, and it will ensure that the last few miles are horrendous. Take it easy to begin with and slowly increase your speed as the race progresses.
4. A Stitch in Time
There’s nothing worse than developing a stitch whilst running. If you do get one, the main thing to remember is not to panic, it doesn’t signal the end of the race. Just concentrate on taking deep, steady breaths and keep running. It will disappear – we promise.
5. Holding Water
Hydration is a vital part of healthy exercise – experts recommend around 500ml of water for every hour of activity. However, don’t make the mistake of drinking too much liquid before the race, it’ll only make you uncomfortable. At the Great North Run there is water at the start of the race, six drink stations around the course and in your finisher’s pack.
6. Added Extras
If you’re not already weighed down in a costume, or carrying a refrigerator, there are a few handy items that are well worth taking along with you. A banana eaten at the start of the race will give you an energy boost without causing a stitch, and a few running gels to take at various points along the route will also help. Ladies – we advise bringing some loo roll, you’ll thank us for it! And don’t forget safety pins to fasten on your number.
Great North Run forecast: sun and partly cloudy with light winds – maximum temperature 14 degrees