Maximize Your Relay Experience:
6 Quick Tips to Help You Get the Most From Your Relay Weekend
By: Tim Skjellerup on November 7, 2015
From experiencing beautiful scenery first hand, to having a great time with old friends and making new friends, running a long distance relay (LDR) can be an extremely fun and rewarding experience. However, if you’re not prepared it can be difficult and stressful for both yourself and your team. Here are six tips that can help your LDR experience be an awesome one:
1) Sleep When You Can:
Staying up for 24+ hours and running multiple times can definitely take a toll on you, both physically and mentally. This is why it is a good idea to grab some z’s when you get a chance along the course. Here are a few things to remember:
- Pack a sleeping bag, pillow and a compact sleeping pad and use it. I once made the mistake of trying to sleep with nothing between myself and the cold, wet ground but a thin sleeping bag. Needless to say I got no sleep while my buddy next to me slept like a baby on his back packing air mattress and woke up annoyingly refreshed.
- Utilize the sleeping areas provided by the race. Many times these areas are quiet and dark, as well as safe. DO NOT sleep in the parking area.
- Make sure your team knows where you well be snoozing. The last thing you want to have happen is for your team to be looking for you when it’s time to head out and start the next section of the course.
- Set your alarm. This should be self explanatory. Especially if you’re entire van is going to get some shuteye.
2) Train For It:
Although participating in a LDR and hanging out and having a good time with friends over the course of 200+ miles is a TON of fun, you also have to run. Make sure you follow a solid training regimen leading up to the event. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a foam roller along so you can do some stretching between your turns to run.
3) Choose The Right Legs:
Not all runner positions are created equal. Look closely at all of the options available to you and choose the right one for your ability. Don’t forget to check the elevation changes and difficulty level of the section, not just the overall distance. Don’t bite off more than you can chew in the beginning and have a miserable rest of the race because your legs are shot.
4) Know Your Runs:
Print out the maps and directions for each of your legs. Get to know the area and carry the maps with you on your run. Do not simply rely on the course signage. Although most races have a well marked course, you never know when someone will steal a sign. Also searching for a lost runner is not fun for anyone.
5) Pack a Smart Lunch:
Resist the temptation to eat like a bear in a dumpster after your first leg. At a lot of races these days, runners go to the food table after the race and “re-fuel” on pizza, doughnuts and a variety of other junk food and continue on with the rest of their day with no problem. But it’s important to remember in a LDR that you still have more sections of the course to run. The stomach can do funny things to us in the wee hours of the morning after your second or third run. Bring a cooler and pack food that will be gentle on your gut or. It’s also not a bad idea to include some multi run training days during your race prep. Eat the food that you are planning on bringing to the race in between your training runs so you can see how your body will react. Race day is not the time to experiment with your nutrition.
6) Run With Your Phone:
Not only should you run with your phone, but it’s also a great idea to use the recommended app. Using the race app can give you access to the course map and other valuable course information that you may need. Along with course info you also have access to your team, race staff and EMS should you need help. It’s also nice to have music and a camera right there with you so you can capture the moment.
Following these 6 simple steps can help you have a safe and enjoyable relay experience. If you have any other tips that you feel would be helpful for others please feel free to share them with us. If you are interested in being a guest blogger for the Brew Blog please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign up for the Ultimate Relay Experience go to P2B Relay Registration.