Tips to get you race ready!

We asked coach and UK Trail Champion Lee Kemp for his top tips on preparing for this years Suffolk Trail Festival.

Here’s what he said:

Select the right footwear

“Trail running is a lot safer and more fun when you have proper footwear. Leading up to the race it is important to keep checking the weather forecast for race day and choose a shoe suited to the terrain and weather conditions. For example, a boggy route with plenty of water, mud and loose terrain will require more grip than the shoe needed to run on well-maintained forest or mountain trails. Don’t be afraid to bring a couple of pairs of shoes with you to cover all eventualities.”

Prepare your race day kit in advance

“Don’t leave it until the night before to collate your race kit ready for packing – do this at least a couple of days before the race and double check it the night before. Just like having the right footwear, it is really important you have all the kit you need ready in advance for race day. Make a list of all the things you will need and tick things off. This way it will be unlikely that you forget a piece of kit you really need by rushing around packing the night before.”

Taper your training

“On race week it is important not to do too much or too little. The sessions you do should be reduced in duration by 50% or more compared to your usual sessions. However, the intensity you run them at should be the same. Putting in a couple of 20-30 second race pace intervals with plenty of rest between repetitions should leave you feeling sharp and ready for the race.”

Nutrition is key

“Don’t introduce new foods you are not used to eating or try to eat your own body weight in carbohydrates in an attempt to ‘carb load’. Stick to foods that you have tried and tested. There is no need to try eat more than you would do on a normal training week as you should now be tapering and training less. This will mean you are not burning as many calories so your muscle glycogen stores should replenish well. This, combined with more rest than a typical training week, should leave you feeling fresh and raring to go come race day.”

Visualise completing the race

Visualise running the race before setting off!

“Try to imagine yourself running the race in the days leading up to race day. Visualise yourself running well, feeling light on your feet and most importantly having fun. Positive reinforcement techniques like these have been proven to enhance performance.”


Lee will be joining us at this years STF and sharing his knowledge & passion for the sport plus stories of his running journey to become a Great Britain and Northern Ireland International trail running athlete. Lee has an impressive running history which includes numerous trail and ultra race wins and course records.

Lee will be covering topics such as recommended kit, nutrition and training advice.

The guys from MyRaceKit will also be on hand, giving you a great opportunity to sample all the latest trail / ultra running gear.