How to Run a Distance Relay Race – Part 2

Distance relay races are really one-offs, they are over different lengths and terrains. Legs of the race can be vastly different also, so it is highly important that each of your members have the skills to successfully carry out their own leg of the race.

These sort of epic competitions can be over a couple of days or in remote places that the sheer logistics of preparing a team to undertake a distance relay race can be daunting. And one of the most basic tasks is preparing the equipment, but this is essential to the team performing well.


The question of what to pack before your journey to the event has one simple answer, you cannot possibly pack too much. The basics for a distance relay race would be a number of running outfits, wet wipes, sandals, towels, reflective safety wear, plastic bags you can seal, sunscreen, hats, tent, sleeping bag, pillow, wash kit, food and drink. All this must be shared out among the team, and a good idea is to hire a vehicle that you all can sleep in and stay together. Meals could be prepared on-board and it is easy for everybody to share their thoughts. It also means that everybody stays together and builds the team’s moral.

Pace Yourself

It does not matter if the race you have entered is not a prestigious event, your team will still want to do their best and make it together over the finish line. The competitive nature in us all will bring the impetuous to the fore and the risk is to hit the start very hard. Above all you must avoid the temptation and pace yourself, it can be incredibly difficult to retain the long term strategy of the race when people are rushing past you but you must resist the urge. The training and strategy you have worked on will still be successful if you stick to it, have confidence.

Break the legs down to target times and segments, you then know what you must achieve during the course of the race, and how much energy you need to retain so that you can run the third and fourth legs as fast as possible. If you can’t run your leg due to fatigue then another member of your team will have to.

Recover Between Legs

After completing your leg it is important to properly cool-down before seeking rest in your vehicle. This is the time you need to re-hydrate and take on board some nutrition. The best foods to eat are carb-rich foods that you have selected from trying out before in training.

It is best to have all the food pre-prepared so each team member can easily access it and get the benefits as soon as possible. Depending how long it is until your next leg it is a good idea to keep gently moving to keep the lactic acid away. Distance relay races can be brutal but so can the reward, completing these epic races as a team brings another dimension to distance running and you can make friends for life.