During the summer months, when the heat gets hotter during the day, it is usual for the racing circuit to proliferate at night. The night races are a good opportunity to run in a different way, taking advantage of the freshest moments and testing us in an environment that is not where we typically run as usual.
The races can be held in a closed circuit, in a circuit urban limited or even in the mountains. When equipping we must take into account the location, the length of the race and our previous experience. This is what you need to know before facing a night race.
- If you are going to run at night, try to train at night: not that it is mandatory to perform all training at night, especially if it is not what you usually do. But it is a good idea to train in the same conditions of the race a few times to see how our body reacts. At night our senses do not respond in the same way as in broad daylight, so it will be important to get used to these new sensations.
- Run with a heart rate monitor to control the race rhythms: if we want to do a good time it is important that we run with a heart rate monitor that tells us about our race rhythms. Running at night, as we have said, can change our perception of the environment, and we may think that we are running faster than we are actually doing . Taking control with a heart rate monitor or a race app will not bring us any surprises when we reach the finish line.
- Specific equipment: If you run at night, whether it’s training or the day of the race, it’s important that you wear reflective clothing or accessories to make yourself visible to other runners or to vehicles you may encounter along the way. Many of the garments usually carry small reflective elements, or you can opt for self-closing wristbands to place on wrists and ankles. There are also small LED lights that work on batteries and that we can place in the slippers to let us see with ease.
- Do not wear helmets (or use only one): especially in your night workouts it is very important that you focus your attention on the environment. Although running with music is almost indispensable for many of us, helmets isolate us from what is around us, and that does not benefit us. If you want to run with music you can use a single helmet or use a headphones that use bone conduction to get the sound, and that leave our ears free.
- What do I have to eat before the race? As in any race, feeding and hydration before departure have a key role in our performance. The last intake, which must be high in carbohydrates and low in fat, we must realize it at least two hours before the kick-off so our body can do the digestion correctly. The rest of the day’s meals should be in the usual hours, and with a good load of hydrates (also depends on the distance you go: if you are 5 kilometers you do not need to do a load to run a marathon).As for hydration, it is recommended to drink about half a liter of water in the two hours before the race, and drink small sips later to keep us well hydrated.
- Do I need to use a frontal? Generally in the regulation of the race we are informed of whether or not it is mandatory to use a frontal light (if it is a closed and well-conditioned circuit, it will surely be optional). Although not mandatory, it is always recommended when we go jogging at night, and some runners also accompany with an auxiliary light placed at the waist. Try running with the front some days before the race to find a comfortable and comfortable way to carry it.
With these tips, you are ready to take the start of a night race and enjoy the cool of the night in summer. To run!