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Hanny's advice to kMR runners

21 February 2023

Hanny photoHello eager mountain runner! 

I am just writing to wish you wild running success for the kunyani Mountain Run 66km solo or Teams, 25km, 5km VK or 9km ‘newby’ events which are now just 5.5 weeks away! I am sure you are currently leaning in and doing your very best to reach the start line ready, rested and eager to play & perform wilder. Therefore, today I just wanted to give you some tips and tricks to focus on over this last month of preparations. 
If you get a chance, supplement this short written summary with listening to my Preparing to Race Optimally Podcast. This will provide lots of extra tips & tricks for race day.  

With 5 weeks to go... 

  • Don’t lose the joy! Training and your physical preparations are certainly really important in these next few weeks, so too is readying your mindset, gear and race day strategies. However, make sure you focus back on why you signed-up for this event in the first place… because it was a fun challenge amongst a great atmosphere & community! Check-in with your fatigue levels and make sure that you are staying safe and playful. Such an approach will only lead to success and attainment in training over the upcoming weeks. 

  • Enjoy your last long mission run. I always recommend completing this 4-6 weeks out from the event. So, if you haven’t practice-packed your vestpack and headed out the door with all your race-day strategies up your sleave for a nice, leisurely long run, now is the time to do so! If you are completing the 66km solo event, I would suggest this run is a run-hike of duration 4-5 hours. If you are going to participate in the 25km event, I would recommend this run-hike to be around 2-3 hours. The run-hike should be at a safe, enjoyable pace and not necessarily at race effort! For all other events, just enjoy a leisurely hike-run of a duration that feels safely achievable and gives you confidence for your chosen event. 

  • Check your mandatory gear and race-day requirements. Do you have the kit you need? A pair of shoes you feel comfortable and confident in? A nutrition & hydration plan that you can trust? Now is the time to gather this all together and practice, practice, practice. If you need a hand, head into one of our Find Your Feet stores here in Hobart or Launceston, or jump onto our website to chat with us about your queries. We are only too happy to help? 

With two weeks to go... 

  • Remind yourself of why you signed up to this event at the outset. By participating and completing this event, what outcome were you seeking? Was it fitness, self-confidence, camaraderie or some time out for yourself? Was it a step in a larger journey? Grab a journal and a pen and write about this. Also reflect on all the things you have done, expressing gratitude for the work you, your friends, support crew and others put in to get you here. Finally, write about the moment when you are approaching the finish line. Try and envisage the feelings that you will have, hear the noise, taste the fatigue, but revel in the exhilaration that you made it! Write about this as honestly and deeply as you can as this will be the strength that will get you to the finish.  

  • However, right now, let us focus on what needs to get done today, as well as this week. You cannot get any fitter now. That work was done long ago. Now just relax and get ready for race day. It is also especially important to find some mental & emotional downtime! 

  • If you have been following my training advice, podcasts & books, you will recognise that this week is about sharpening up the body. The training will involve some light, speedier running so that you don’t feel too heavy during the final taper next week. However, be very careful to avoid increasing your speed too fast or too far, as this could lead to injury. All 'speedy efforts' should still feel reasonably comfortable. 

  • Did you know: you can get up to 15% strength gains during taper week if you allow your muscles to fully recover? WOW! To access this new strength, increase your protein, fibre, vitamins, healthy fats & fluid intake. This will assist the body to initiate a quick recovery & strengthening process leading into race day and also help combat any risk of sickness kicking in.  

  • Get some ZZZs! Sleeping longer and deeper will also strengthen your recovery. I personally believe that the hours before midnight are the most important. 

  • Don’t run too long. Avoid thinking, ‘I need one last long run!’ This will only lead to excess fatigue and injury risks. 

  • Check your race day mandatory and personal gear. As we express ship, there is still plenty of time to purchase any last-minute items. To support your final preparations we are offering you a wild 20% Discount to our Find Your Feet Online Store. Your unique code is: kunanyimountainrun 

  • If you need any final words of encouragement & advice, or any equipment, apparel or sports nutrition then please don’t hesitate to email or call us ( or 0466 906 167) or place an online order

With one week to go… 

  • With 4 days to go, make sure you take plenty of extra rest. This will help you to focus on good nutrition, loosening up your muscles with a bath & massage, hydration, and generally just enjoying the reward for all the hard work you have put in. 

  • Focus on increasing your carbohydrates for the last 4 days before your event. These are necessary for stocking glycogen in the muscles and provide an energy buffer on race day. 

  • In the last 2-3 days make sure you swap to a carbohydrate rich, lower fibre & low protein diet. This will allow you to absorb as much energy as possible without risking fibre and protein sitting in your gastric system on race day. During this time, also increase electrolytes so that your fluid and sodium levels are topped up. 

  • I strongly recommend that on the day before your event you head out for 1 or 2 x 15-20-minute easy jogs to loosen up your muscles. These jogs will also help combat travel, work or the sense of lethargy from tapering. Resting completely on this day will make you feel tired and heavy. Include some 20 second efforts at a little quicker than race pace to help put a spring into your step.  

Now it’s race day! 

  • On race morning eat a light breakfast! Don't skip this meal. Two crumpets with honey or a couple of energy bars and a bottle of electrolyte is an ideal pre-race meal. However, if concerned, stick to what you know & trust. 

  • To prevent blisters I highly recommend using Vaseline rubbed thickly over Fixamol/Hypafix placed on the high-wear areas of your feet (this is the white tape athletes use under strapping tape to prevent allergies – available in chemists). Use an appropriate endurance-specific sock over the top. Perfect! Of course we might be biased but we love our Find Your Feet Trail Running Socks :) Check out my short video on blister prevention HERE

  • Begin the event in ‘Athlete Mode’ – try to check in with your body and apply as much of what you have learnt as you can. This will ensure that you do not get too carried away by the buzz and excitement. 

  • Don't start too hard but make sure your cadence is high enough that you are not plodding. A cadence of 90 single steps a minute is ideal (180 double steps). The aim of the first 3/4 of the race is just rhythm and enjoying it. The real race starts after that. 

  • Once you have got yourself comfortably into the event, switch into ‘Queen or King Mode’ – this is the mode where you find yourself saying, ‘where else would I want to be right now!?’ Appreciate where you are, and just how far you have come to get here. Be grateful that you are able to be out here doing what you love, and around like-minded people. Try to stay in Queen or King Mode for as long as you can. 

  • Every now and then return to ‘Athlete Mode’, checking in with yourself, your health and wellbeing. Check if you are fuelled enough, too hot, too cold etc. Then return to Queen or King Mode. 

  • If you reach a little hump and find yourself fading, switch into ‘Warrior Mode’ – focus in on the task at hand and set yourself a goal. For example, ‘I am just going to knuckle into this section until I get to Checkpoint 3, then I will pause for a breather’. Warrior Mode is very powerful and can help you get through the most difficult moments you may face. 

  • During the race do not change your race or nutrition strategy. It is easy to set off too fast or skip your nutrition times. Don't do it! Stick to your plan unless it really isn’t working for you. 

  • Tell yourself that the half way mark is at the 3/4 point. This makes the second half easy! Never get too far ahead of yourself. Just focus on the road in front and try to ‘run in your bubble’ for as long as possible. 

  • Don't fight the rougher sections, stairs or steep hills. It is the same for everyone and attacking them will only burn excess energy. Stay relaxed and just kick into casual mode for these sections. 

  • MOST OF ALL... ENJOY IT! As long as you don't put too much pressure on yourself, you will love it! After all, where else would you really want to be other than running along gorgeous trails of our local mountain, kunanyi with like-minded trail runners?  


Once again, if you need any advice, equipment, apparel or sports nutrition, then please don’t hesitate to contact us: 

Best wishes, enjoy the final stages of the journey & see you there! 

Hanny Allston 

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