Grit Clinic after hours surgery

Q. From Gwen Loughman: Hello Grit Doctor – I have a question for you… am training for a 10k and can get myself out of the door no problem on weekends, but during the week the only time I have to run is before work. Set my alarm for 6.00am each day only to turn it off and go back to sleep. Any tips on how to summon up the extra grit to get myself out of bed at 6.00am?

This is a really tough one and is one of those irritating chicken and egg scenarios in the sense that once you have done it a couple of times it becomes much easier because you get so much out of it, but doing it the first time requires a hurculean effort.  So the first thing is to accept this, in other words, accept that you are never going to hear your alarm and ‘feel’ like jumping out of bed and going for a run!  When I used to get up at 5.30am to go running before work, I found that I had to set my mobile phone alarm to a much more gritty in-your-face sort of wake up call than the usual gentle one.  Plus, I had to leave said alarm out of reach of the bed so I HAD to get out of my bed to turn it off.  Getting out of your bed is half of the battle.  It is imperative that you have your trainers and running clothes, bra knickers socks the lot lying just by said alarm clock so you can slip into them before you are fully conscious and without pausing to think.  And then its straight outside via a tap to drink a glass or two of water.  NO FAFFING.  I was honestly still half asleep during this process which worked well for me as before I could question the insanity of getting up so early, I was already outside in my trainers and the run had begun.  Nothing compares to running through the break of dawn, you will feel so chuffed with yourself all day and you will feel unbelievably good when you arrive at work. Plus breakfast will quite literally taste like manna from heaven…

Q.  From Jo Kingston: It is two weeks today to my first 5k race!! i am excited and nervous all at once. Can you offer me any advice on the 24 hours before the race – should I take the Thursday as a rest day and what should I eat? The race is at 1pm Good Friday. I am hoping it will be a very Good Friday indeed. Me and my inner bitch cannot wait!!!

Firstly, congratulations!  I can imagine the nerves and excitement.  You are going to be absolutely fine because I am assuming you are more than covering 5k three times a week if you have been following the programme in RFBR so this 5k race is going to be a pleasure from start to finish.  Don’t start too quickly and stick to your normal running style and speed, if you feel you have lots left in the tank towards the end, it always feels great to run the last 1 or 2ks a bit quicker, or even that last few hundred metres.  You probably don’t eat anything special before you go on your training runs and so there is no need to do so on race day, I would stick with your usual diet, although if you are feeling particularly nervous and are worried this may translate into a runny tummy then stick to very plain foods like toast. And make sure you are well hydrated from the previous day and during the morning as you don’t want to have to neck loads of water just before the race and be needing the loo during it!  I would have a huge bowl of pasta (any excuse) the night before, a relaxing bath and a really long good nights sleep.  Definitely rest on thursday and wednesday, make your last run the tuesday and push yourself to do it quicker than usual.  You are going to LOVE your first race.  Please do let me know how you get on.

The Grit Doctor says:

No need to do anything fancy for race day.  Stick to your routine and remember that nerves are good if you let the adrenalin propel you forwards.  Your inner bitch loves as hit of adrenalin.

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