The annual Wings for Life World Run is almost here again, with a May 7 event date. To help runners prepare for the unique charity run, we asked Tina Muir for advice. Based on her experience as an 11-time All American runner, British Olympic trialist, and marathon veteran with a 2:36 personal record, Tina Muir gave the following tips.
“There are all kinds of calculations for figuring out your exact hydration rate,” Tina said, “but I have found most runners tend to over-drink and end up diluting their electrolytes. Just drink as you need it, and your body will tell you how much to take on.” Tina added a word of caution: “If you do end up thirsty, try not to gulp water down. Instead, start sipping regular and often.”
Tina advised that leading up to a big run, the right diet will vary from person to person. “People get themselves into trouble,” she said, “as they try to copy what others eat before a run.” Tina suggests “simple, white carbs,” like bagels, bananas, toast, oatmeal, and rice. “You want to avoid anything with high fiber,” she said, “including all those healthy vegetables. You should also avoid high-fat and high-protein foods until you know how they sit in your stomach while running.”
During her competitive career, Tina had three coaches, one of whom focused exclusively on mindset. She gave the following advice for all runners, but especially first-timers at the Wings for Life World Run. “Soak in this experience as best you can,” she said. “Although there will be highs and lows during the race, everyone around you is also going through struggles, but you are working through them together, all fighting for that same goal―and for a good cause.”
“I recommend having two pairs of shoes: a pair you are going to wear on race day, and a pair you wear for most of your training before the race,” Tina told us. “Wear the training pair the majority of the time, but for your harder runs and longer runs, wear your racing shoes. I would recommend most runners have around 50 to 100 miles on their shoes when they lace up for race day.”
Tina recommended bringing extra fuel for the Wings for Life World Run, “especially since you don’t know how long you will stay ahead of the Catcher Car.” Instead of a bum bag, Tina wears shorts with bottle pockets. “I fill my bottles with Generation UCAN,” she said, “and sip that often instead of taking snacks.”
“I recommend to bring a trash bag to put over you while you wait to start the race. That way you can start it dry, and throw it away right before you go”, Tina said. „You can also pack a thin poncho that rolls up and fits into your bum bag. A poncho will keep you warm before the race, and keep you dry in the event of rain. Check the weather with Morecast. It will give you a heads-up on what type of weather to expect for race day.“
Runners often choose aggressive or upbeat music with an “Eye of the Tiger” vibe, but not Tina. “I love listening to music that is silly and fun,” she said. “For me it’s nineties classics or Disney music. Cheesy I know, but that reminds me that running is meant to be fun, and I am going to make the most of it.” To get runners ready for May 7, the Wings for Life World Run team has created a Spotify playlist with help from Red Bull.