Wings for Life World Run is a great opportunity for running enthusiasts to do good deeds, but also to make themselves happy on May 6.
Last year's winner of the Zadar race, Željka Šaban Miličić, hopes to help recreational runners with several tips…
For many Croatian recreational runners Wings for Life World Run is the central event of the year and the opportunity to break through their running plateau. In order to achieve the result they desire they are seriously committed to running, especially during the last month before the race in Zadar. Our enthusiasts always try their hardest, but in order to achieve the desired goal in the most efficient way, everyone could use the advice of a more experienced runner, such as Željka ŠabanMiličić who ran 44.73 kilometres in 2017 race.
Last year’s impressive winner gives Croatian runners the following five tips:
1. Systematic training yields best results
Just like everything else in life, the best training is based on planning and systematic effort. It has to be tailored to the individual, depending on his or her abilities and desires.
"Since this is a Wing for Life World Run, in which every participant wants to give as many kilometres as possible, I would advise recreational runners to run three times a week, the first training should be designed as fartlek training (alternating running speed without previous planning), the second as interval training and the third as a mandatory long distance training at a slower pace," Željka says and describes the final preparation:
"The last couple of weeks before the race should be used for the final 'form polishing'. Two weeks before the race you should run the last long distance training, while other trainings should be designed as interval and target pace trainings."
2. Pre-run meal rich in complex carbohydrates
Nutrition is an individual matter and trying different combinations during the training process can help runners find the ideal food to eat before and during the race, but with some items you can’t go wrong.
"Since Croatian race starts at 1 PM, I suggest eating complex carbohydrates for breakfast, assuming that the runners won’t have lunch before the race. Grains, rice, bananas or pasta should be eaten at least three hours before the start. Before the race runners can eat an energy bar,'' emphasizes the current Zadar champion.
3. Refrain from starting too fast
Surrounded by thousands of enthusiast in a great atmosphere of Wings for Life World Run we all tend to overestimate our abilities and boldly push from the start, exceeding the desired pace, hoping that during the race we will discover our inner and sill undiscovered racing talent. However, you should refrain from taking this approach.
"The start of each race is a very emotional experience, and runners usually go out much faster than their desired pace. I would recommend a slower start to all recreational athletes, they can gradually accelerate to the desired pace, and if they still have the strength at the end of the race, they should give it their all," our excellent runner, who is also a celebrated triathlete, gives valuable advice.
4. Hydration is important, don’t forget the gels
During the long distance runs, such as Wings for Life World Run, it is important to drink enough liquids. The amount of liquids depends on the runner and should be defined during the training process.
"As for the hydration, runners drink isotonic drinks to make up for essential electrolytes, or water, while in the last tenkilometres I prefer drinking Red Bull," says Šaban Miličić. Gels are becoming more popular among runners who intend to run many kilometres:
"Energy gels are a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes, in about 30 grams of gel an athlete gets the energy needed for about 25 minutes. Since it is quite difficult to chew while running, athletes usually drink liquid carbohydrates. The amount of gels and other ingredients that will help the muscles make up for the consumed carbohydrates depends on race duration."
5. Enjoying the race is more important than the results
Good preparation and effective strategy on the track should yield good results, but even if you get overtaken by the ''Catcher Car'' before you have expected it, don't let that spoil your wonderful weekend in Zadar.
''Enjoy every second of every meter you run, encourage one another, keep in mind your abilities, and live your dreams!",says Željka. Together with Croatian runners she will also run for those who can’t, but at the other end of the world, in Florida, trying to achieve the most important goal of finding a treatment for spinal cord injuries.