D-1 : Rambouillet SEMI-MARATHON

D-1 Rambouillet Semi Gear

Less than half a day to Rambouillet Semi-Marathon .


Silviu and I have finished the Surcompensation (“Overcompensation” in English), our last run before D-Day. We did a relatively, easy-paced 5.5km run, interspersed with 6 sets of 20s sprints, with 30s of recovery between sets.

I have never heard of “Surpcompensation” (translated as “Overcompensation”) until I came to France. Well, it’s not that I am a seasoned runner. Perhaps it’s frequently used in the English speaking world of road runners, which I never was before coming to France.

I do not really understand the theory behind. Surcompensation is usually done a day before the race. The few days before Surcompensation should be just a few easy runs, after a last intense workout. This pre-race will supposedly fire the impulses of the leg muscles so that the legs would be in optimal race mode the following day.

Surcompensation – Checked.

Race Gear Preparation

Next step is our race gear preparation. Doing a road race is much simpler than a trail race. In a road race (for distances up till a marathon), the most important gear is the outfit you run in. For me, it’s pretty standard : a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and my favourite racing shoes, my faithful Garmin watch, a heart rate monitor and 2 packets of energy gels. The gear is neatly laid out so that I can have easy access to them tomorrow early morning. In a trail race, it’s an entire different world : race pack, water bags or bottles or both, energy gels/nuts/chocolate – anything that helps to get you going for hours, apparel for all sorts of weather (windbreaker, rain jacket, long sleeved shirts and pants, change of socks etc).

Race gear – Checked.

Listen to Music While Running

Do you listen to music while running? What kind of music do you listen? I sometimes listen to music when I run, especially during long runs to ease the monotony of right leg forward, left leg forward, right leg forward… However, I always listen to music when I race. The Ipod shuffle has seen me through many, many races. No exception for this time. My Ipod is filled with 2 hours of high-tempo songs. (Hopefully, I would finish in much lesser time).

Frankly speaking, I don’t think I pay much attention to the music during the race. The music does not seem to distract me much from my suffering. However, I do need the music at the start and the near-end of the race. At the start, I need music to get myself into the “battle mood”. Music is like a kind of drug, a shot of caffeine. It reduces my tension at the start time. It fills me with adrenaline, propels me for the first few kilometres until I get my rythme. At the end, I would turn up the music, and try to match my pace with the high-tempo songs. It’s like another shot of caffeine to last me to the finishing line.


Last, but not least : Sleep. It’s always hard to sleep before a sleep, especially when you are not used to sleeping before midnight. Silviu and I have decided to get into the bed by 10pm, so that we, hopefully, can have at least 6 hours of good sleep. (It’s wishful thinking that we will fall immediately to sleep at 10pm).

Good night. Bonne soirée.

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