How do you train for a night race?
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Ok, I have run A LOT of races, however I still don’t have the evening or night race thing down. I am going to be running the Run Madtown Twilight 10k in Madison, WI on May 27th. It starts at 8:10pm. As someone who usually runs in the morning or goes on a #runch, I am still trying to prepare the best I can, I have come up with a list of things, I have done or should be doing.
1.) Familiarize yourself with the course. Will there be hills, pacers, aid, trail? At this time of night it’s just starting to get dark, and the lighting can throw things off. Knowing at what mile I can grab a water, or at what point I might have to climb a hill will help keep me on pace to finish in a decent time. This way I can deal with my eyes adjusting to the light and looking out for unknown course hazards.
2.) Run at night. This may be the most obvious thing to do. Run at the same time the race starts, then your body is ready. However, this is just so hard for me. I want to get my run done, I am not a fan of waiting all day. Also by 8:10 pm I am tired and don’t want to do much. Hey – I am an old lady.
3.) Eating. Perhaps, this is tougher than the night running. In my everyday life, I do not eat an early supper. Some days, I might not eat until 9 pm. The solution is to eat an early light dinner so the food has time to digest. I wouldn’t eat a plate of nachos, covered in jalepenos, well unless that is your thing. Then when you are done, enjoy the post race food line up as a snack. This year there will be Rocky Rococo’s Pizza at the finish.
4.) Find something to do during the day. I get anxious, and waiting around all day to race drives me nuts, I need things to do to keep my mind occupied. This isn’t a long distance race for me, but if it were I would recommend finding something to do to stay off your feet, or try to relax – and you can never go wrong with taking a nap!
I will also need to get my bib, so I will have time to check out the expo at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Lakeside Commons. There is no race day packet pick up, so I will have until 5 pm on race day to check out all the goods.
There are also a ton of things to do in Madison. I really like the farmers market on Capital Square – which is where the race starts/finishes. You can also check out many breweries, the lakes, tour the Capitol or the UW Campus. Many things to keep an anxious mind busy until 8:10 pm.
5.) Prepare your gear. By the time this race is over, you will be finishing in the dark. The course is well lit, but you want to make sure your outfit is ready for the FREE race pictures. I like to wear all the colors, but you can wear what is comfortable for you to run in, remember pictures last forever on the internet.
I just need to work on the evening and night running thing, and I think I will be ready. As a Hawkeye fan it may be tough to travel to Madison for a sporting event, but for a race, I am ready to get back to Madison.