Relax before the big day, experts say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am


With three days to go before the big day, it may be difficult for the 70,000 runners who will line up for the marathon, half marathon and 10 kilometre races and the three kilometre wheelchair race not to start obsessing.

Running specialists stress the importance of relaxing before Sunday. 'People have been training for several months. Now is the time to relax and release the pressure,' said Erich Felbabel, the founder of sports clothing brand O2 Creation.

The 34-year-old triathlete, who took part in several Ironman races at a professional level, advises runners to spend time with their friends and family.

Pauline Tse Lai-kiu, founder of the University of Hong Kong marathon team and a part-time coach, said: 'The training should be done by now. There is no need to run any more.

'On Saturday, people should go for an easy run. It should not last more than one hour.'

Diet plays an important role, too. Three days before the race, runners will have to indulge in 'carbo-loading' - eating more carbohydrates than usual to build up fuel for the muscles.

Susan Chung So-shan, nutritionist at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, said: 'People should consume about nine or 10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight.

'Runners should have three meals a day, two snacks and eat more rice, pasta, bread, crackers and fruit.

Tse has a secret recipe. 'The night before the marathon, I usually have a big bowl of red bean paste tang yuan because the rice flour will give me carbohydrates and the red bean is full of minerals - all the nutrients that I need.'

She stressed that sleep plays an important role. 'People are excited before a race so it is difficult to sleep well the night before. It is better to get an eight to 10-hour sleep two days before,' said Tse. With the races starting early in the morning, runners will have to get up at about 3am to get to the starting line on time.

The most important aspect may be sticking to a training routine. Keith Chan Wah-kwai, founder of, a website popular in the city's running community, said: 'Do not eat or try anything new you haven't tried before.'

The Observatory says Sunday will be misty with sunny intervals. Temperatures will range from 17 to 21 degrees Celsius.