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Advice from pro-runner Alex Hutchinson ahead of the Queen City Marathon

Former Team Canada runner Alex Hutchinson is now an author and journalist who focuses on the science of endurance and fitness. File / Global News

Long-distance runners in Regina have been preparing for what will be an exhilarating weekend.

It’s the GMS Queen City Marathon weekend and events run throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Ahead of the races, Global News spoke with former Team Canada long-distance runner Alex Hutchinson, and he had some advice for those totally prepared for the races, and runners who aren’t as prepared as they’d like to be.

Hutchinson is an author and journalist who focuses on the science of endurance, and was in Regina to speak about his book “Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.”

His number one piece of advice? “Rest is the most important thing.”

READ MORE: Tips for running your best Queen City Marathon yet

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But it’s not just physical rest, Hutchinson said, “most people know that they should rest their legs and not do too much running the next few days, but I should also mention a mental taper.”

“People should give themselves a relaxing day the day before because mental fatigue has as big of an impact on your performance as physical fatigue,” he said.

“Your physical training is going to set the size of the glass, and your mental training is going to tell you how full the glass can get.”

Haven’t trained as much as you’d like?

For those who haven’t been able to train as much as they might have liked to, Hutchinson said, “it’s possible to complete the race.”

“It may well be a really important learning experience about how much more fun it can be if you’re properly prepared,” he said. “If you haven’t done a lot of training, the key thing is setting out a conservative pace, figure out how fast you want to go and go slower than that.”

“If you’re feeling good, pick it up in the second half, but don’t leave it all in the first half of the race.”

Post-race

Following the big run, whether that’s a 5K walk and run, or the full 42.2K run, Hutchinson said proper recovery measures are important.

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“Rehydrating and refuel after the race is absolutely crucial,” Hutchinson said.

“You’re going to be sore, expect that. Ice baths can help your legs feel better, you just have to be ready to take it easy for a couple days.”

QCM weekend kicks off with the University of Regina Night Owl 5K and continues with the Mini Marathon and Campbell & Haliburton Insurance Family 5K on Saturday.

The actual race day is Sunday, with the 42.2K run starting at 8 a.m.

Find full event details and schedules here.

taylor.braat@globalnews.ca

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