The Running Hows with Daryl Steeves

Running coach Daryl Steeves says runners should stay calm and enjoy the MBTS experience after logging many kilometres of training over many weeks and months.

Highly respected running coach Daryl Steeves says runners should stay calm and enjoy the Marathon by the Sea experience after logging many kilometres of training over many weeks and months to prepare for the annual event Sunday.

This is the 23rd story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John on Sunday. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

Race weekend has arrived. After weeks and months of preparation, the butterflies are sure to be creeping in for runners and walkers in the final hours before the 20th anniversary edition of Marathon by the Sea.

In the spirit of the number 20, well known and trusted coach Daryl Steeves is offering 20 tips for participants to help their experience in this year’s event. Daryl is highly regarded in the running community for his expertise and experience. His positive influence was cited as a key reason for improvements by many athletes in our Running Whys series.

Here are Daryl’s suggestions. Enjoy and good luck.

The race count down is on, what can you do to be sure you are ready?

  1. Do your visioning, it may seem goofy but running the race in your mind can improve running the race in real life.
  2. Set your goals, usually 3 is a good idea.
  3. Goal 1 is the minimal acceptable goal. For longer races finishing is often this goal.

    Running coach Daryl Steeves encourages everyone to set three goals for the Marathon by the Sea.

    Running coach Daryl Steeves encourages everyone to set three goals for the Marathon by the Sea.

  4. Goal 2 is that realistic goal that you come to when you honestly consider the training you have done and your past performances.
  5. Goal 3 is that perfect day, wind at your back, feet light as feathers that comes along once in a while if you are ready.
  6. Check your race kit: bib, pins, clothing (hat is often wise) and shoes the night before.
  7. Consider what you will use for fuel in the race, if the course nutrition isn’t for you, be sure to bring your tried and tested fuel choice.
  8. The night before your race, be sure to have a good meal with plenty of carbs and some protein.  Lots of water is a good idea as well.
  9. Get to bed early but don’t freak out about sleep.  The key is to get settled in bed, try to relax and let sleep come.  If it doesn’t, just relax, read or even watch TV.  The key is to relax, Olympic gold medals have been won on no sleep.
  10. Race morning, try to have a normal breakfast for you, but be sure to have some carbs and protein a couple of hours before the race if at all possible.
  11. If you normally drink coffee in the morning go ahead, but don’t be influenced by things you hear or read, this is not the time to “try” coffee to try to help your race.
  12. If it makes sense in your setting, put on all your race gear and do a little jog before you leave the house to be sure you have everything as you want it.  Better to find out at in your test run that you forgot your hat then at the race location.
  13. About an hour or less before the race take in some simple low fiber carbs like a gel or white bread, crackers or chocolate milk to get some fuel in the system to start.
  14. When you arrive at the race location take a peek around to be sure you understand how and where the race will start and equally important how and where it will finish.

    Running coach Daryl Steeves says a good meal of carbs and protein Saturday night will go a long way to helping the performance on Sunday morning.

    Running coach Daryl Steeves says a good meal of carbs and protein Saturday night will go a long way to helping the performance on Sunday morning.

  15. Take a little time to socialize and relax with your running friends but don’t get freaked out by stories of 100-km training weeks, race day bravado is common but often exaggerated.
  16. Be sure to warm up with a nice easy jog until you feel a little warmth coming off your body.  This opens up all the blood vessels and gets them ready to deliver the fuel needs and oxygen to your muscles.
  17. Try to time your warm up to finish with 3-5 minutes of the start of the race, the closer the better as long as you don’t jeopardize your preparation to start.
  18. Find the right spot to line up for your ability.  Be a sport and let faster runners move to the front of the pack, it makes it better for them and you.
  19. Stay calm and start your race slowly, you have lots of time to pick it up later.
  20. Most importantly, have fun!  Enjoy every minute and remember to thank the volunteers, without them there is no race!  And for 20 years those volunteers have been bringing us Marathon by the Sea!

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