Hackney Half fitness tips with personal trainer Matt Smith: Some final pre-race advice

Runners setting off at last year's Hackney Half. Picture: Virgin Sport

Runners setting off at last year's Hackney Half. Picture: Virgin Sport - Credit: Archant

Matt Smith is training the Gazette running team for Sunday’s Hackney Half. He has been giving readers regular fitness tips to help in their own preparation or just inspire them to get off the sofa. Here are some last little pre-race tips to have you in the best possible shape on the day.

Hydration is often thought about differently from nutrition and carb loading – however, you can be slightly dehydrated over a few days and that will lead to a drop in performance.

So make sure you keep well watered in this weather. If your flower beds need water, so do you.

Keep alcohol to a minimum and hopefully zero the night before as it hampers sleep.

On the topic of sleep, get plenty. Make sure you are well rested and relatively chipper to keep a spring in your step.

Regarding your step, now is not the time to be breaking out the brand new racers. Stick to your tried and tested pair – they will fit your feet better and minimise blisters and discomfort.

On the day, wear proper socks, not the invisible fashion kind – they slip and cause issues. Take plasters with you. It only takes a minute to improve the comfort levels of your nips and or blisters, should they need attention. Vaseline helps too (but just the nips I’m afraid).

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Choose your race nutrition – be it jelly babies, wine gums, peanut butter or those sports glucose sachets. The latter should ideally have been trialled as high doses have been known to cause upset stomach and no one needs that at mile eight.

Pay attention to water stations – utilise them.

Then, get your breakfast down you (I’ll be having honey on toast) and a coffee and get yourself set for some fun. You’ll be seeing me and the rest of the team from the Gazette across the finish line.

Dalston PT Matt Smith works at Fitness First in Liverpool Street and has been training the Gazette team for Sunday’s race. E-mail matt@fireandsteelfitness.com or visit his Instagram: @fireandsteelfit

The Gazette team is running to raise money for the Hackney Winter Night Shelter. If you’d like to find out why, and perhaps even sponsor us, please visit our fundraising page.