The hard work has been done. The training almost over. Now the only thing left to do is to run.
For competitors in this Sunday's The Canberra Times Fun Run, the event is a culmination of several weeks of preparation, training sessions and practice runs.
But in order to get the most out of the event, along with not pulling up injured and sore the next day, experts say the days leading up to the fun run are some of the most important for preparation.
Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport, Gemma Whelan, said it was important not to outdo and over-exert yourself before a large fitness event.
"In days before, you want to taper off for a bit. Hopefully the hardest parts have been done in the weeks leading up to it," Ms Whelan said.
"A few days beforehand, you want to drop down the training load, but not stop altogether."
In her regular line of work, Ms Whelan helps elite athletes recover from injury and get to their peak performance. And while a majority of the runners in this year's The Canberra Times Fun Run won't be professional athletes, Ms Whelan said the same principles in the lead up to the event are the same for everyone.
"The most important thing, other than eating and hydrating properly, is getting enough sleep, which will affect your performance in the fun run," she said.
"Hydrating is always important for the morning off. If you start properly hydrating three days before the event, and make sure you're getting adequate intake."
Ms Whelan recommends two litres of water, or six to eight cups, a day in order for athletes to get the right amount of hydration before the race.
"You don't have to drink litres at a time. Two litres is the amount over the entire day," she said.
"In terms of being hydrated, if you think of the body as a car, fluids are the petrol to deliver the energy to the body."
A good meal the night before consisting of plenty of carbohydrates, like pasta or rice, is recommended before the race, in order to give your body the most energy for the run.
The physiologist said runners should aim to get between six and eight hours of sleep the night before in order to get the most out of the fun run.
Ms Whelan said the morning of the race was also just as important.
"Light warm-ups are best, whatever best suits your body," she said. "Everyone needs to do warm-ups that increase body temperature and gets muscles activated."
No matter how people run the race and no matter the distance, Ms Whelan said what competitors do directly afterwards was just as important as the preparation, in order to not be feeling sore the day after.
"As soon as the race finishes and you start to cool down, stretching will help to remove lactate or byproducts and helps the muscles to rejuvenate," she said.
"It's important to stretch as soon as you can after then race finishes and cool down properly, in order to reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness."
- The Canberra Times Fun Run is on Sunday, November 10. Entries are still open for the two, five and 10 kilometre events, with staggered starts.
- Registration closes on Thursday, November 7, 11.59pm. To register: canberratimesfunrun.com.au