Hairy McKilty was put through his paces last week at North Inch Community Campus, in preparation for the fourth annual 5K Kilt Run, which this year is the key event in Perth’s Touch of Tartan Weekend.

Hairy was helped through his session by Live Active Leisure Personal Trainer, Mark Smith, who was full of great advice and tips for Hairy and anyone else running in this year’s bid to break the World Record for Kilted Runners.  

With only a week to go, Hairy had a few questions for Mark which he has laid out here as final tips for everyone signed up to compete!

Hairy - With one week to go, what should people do to best prepare for the run?

Mark - All of your hard work and hard runs should be completed by this stage and if (delete) you should have run at least one 5k run straight.  In these last couple of weeks we’re looking for good quality sessions, with a few speed sessions and a few half hour to 45 minute runs.

Make sure to keep yourself healthy and injury free with safe training and good nutritional choices. With one week to go cut down on the distances as doing extra can harm your performance. Instead, get plenty of rest, maintain your fitness levels, start to visualise the race and most of all, enjoy it!  

Hairy -  Any nutritional advice on what to eat and drink in the build up to the day?

Mark - There is lots of debate when it comes to nutrition as we’re always evolving and finding new things that work. The most popular advice leading up to a 5k/marathon is to increase your intake of carbohydrates about 3-4 days before the race.  So things like pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit/ fruit juice and sports drinks are all good examples.

Your body will use this as energy and also restore your glycogen levels. Keep yourself well hydrated, and during the race if you struggle and need a second wind you can try things such as energy gels/chews or drinks. Fats and protein will take longer to digest so on game day, make sure to be ready with a healthy breakfast such as a bagel and banana or toast and banana which should set you up nicely.

Hairy – Do you have any tips for what to do on the day (eg warm ups etc.)

Mark – Sure! Make sure to get a good night’s sleep and don’t go out partying or drinking in the pub! Have your healthy breakfast and something to eat about an hour/ hour and a half before the race starts. Try to get yourself into a positive mind set and make use of the time by doing a 10 minute warm up.  Gradually loosen off, adding dynamic stretches to get the body ready for exercise. 

Moments before you start relax and again visualise what your about to do. If you struggle with distances then try talking to yourself to keep motivated, or think of songs in your head to distract you. When running a slow start and a strong finish is preferred and after the race make sure to take on good fluids to replace the electrolytes lost.

Hairy - What celebration should be used when crossing the finish line?

Mark - Anything you like! As long as you’ve enjoyed the race and ran your best, celebrating should be something of a spur of the moment. For me, my favourite celebration is to point to my watch because hopefully I have broken my best time!  

Hairy’s training session with Mark has been videoed and provides top tips for everyone!


Full details for the Touch of Tartan Weekend and information on registering to run the 5K, Half Marathon or Kilted walks can be found at