We’re not far away from the annual Ports of Auckland Round the Bays Fun Run on Sunday 8 March. Here’s eight quick tips (one for each kilometre you’ll cover!) from running coach Kiri Price to help ensure you have a great day out there. Kiri coaches the AUT Millennium Running Group and also designs and runs the successful Deep Water Running sessions held at the National Aquatic Centre. Kiri is an avid runner herself and has completed over 180 marathons to date!

1. Have realistic expectations

Have a realistic idea of how long you could be out on the course for – if you’re a fast runner you might get in under 45 mins, if you’re a slower walker you could be out there for over an hour and a half – ball park figures – but make sure your training is supporting what you’ll be doing on race day. Keep in mind there will be thousands of people out there on the day which will affect how fast you can move as well!

2. Dress appropriately

Ensure you are wearing the correct footwear and clothing. Footwear should be comfortable and well fitting. Make sure you’re not doing the event in brand new shoes on the day – you need to have worn them in at least a little bit before the event. Clothing should be breathable and light and not restrict your movements, and it should make you feel good!

3. Stick to a routine

The rule of thumb is NEVER do anything NEW on race day! Practice now what you’ll have for dinner the night before, what you’ll have for breakfast on the day (ideally 1-2 hours prior to start time), and also how you’ll recover after the event – for best results, rehydrate straight away and have something light to eat within 30 mins.

4. Be sun smart

It’s likely to be hot on the day, so ensure your clothing is light and breathable, you have applied sunscreen and that you keep well hydrated. The safest bet is to drink to your thirst – and at regular intervals.

5. Simulate event day

The start gun will go off at 9.30am – so do a few of your longer sessions starting at this time, and make sure your body is used to being functional at 9.30am!

6. Plan the logistics

Apart from having the right shoes and clothes, you need to plan ahead – what time will you need to get up? What time will you get on the bus? Where is the start line? Where will I meet my friends/family after? Make sure you have all bases covered so that on the day, all you have to do is run, walk, and have fun!

7. Pack the day before

Lay out all your gear the day before to you ensure you have everything you will need. Set two alarms for peace of mind, and try and get a good night’s sleep. Attach your race bib to your shirt. Put out the sunscreen and Vaseline or Body Glide (chaffing hurts!) so you don’t forget to apply it. Have your sunglasses, watch, phone… whatever else you will need charged up and ready to go!

8. Smile and enjoy!

You’re going to be part of a very special Auckland event that showcases our beautiful city, and you’re going to be part of a very special team of people doing it with you! Head up, enjoy the view, the atmosphere, and also the challenge! Don’t start too fast, pace yourself and save something in the tank for the last stretch to the finish line. And don’t forget, Be The Best You Can Be!