It’s finally here! It’s Race Weekend!
You have been training hard and logging all types of miles. You have been counting the days. Your race is in just a few days.
Maybe you are feeling excited. Maybe you are feeling nervous AF. Maybe you’re feeling like calling the whole thing off. All those feelings are totally fine, I’ve been there.
If it’s your first race or 10th, I’m here to help you through and get to that finish line (no pun intended 😉 )
Here are my tips for a successful Race Weekend Prep:
Prepare what you need on Race Day //
My biggest tip is to not wear or do anything new on Race Day. Stick to what you have been doing and wearing during your training runs.
I know it’s tempting to try that new flavor energy gel or that new pair of shoes. Nothing is worse than a gel that doesn’t taste amazing or your sneaks rubbing you the wrong way. You can’t get it out of your head and there goes the race.
// Set out what you need the night before
I always lay out what I’m wearing on Race Day a few days before.
For one, to make sure I have everything. (I couldn’t imagine not having headphones at the starting line.) For two, if I realize I need something, I still have time to run out and grab whatever I need.
What I usually set out is:
- back up outfit (in case of rain)
- outfit for post-race activities
- headphone (charge the night before if needed)
- energy gels + waist belt holder (I like Honey Stinger)
- Hydration pack (I use Camelback)
- sunscreen + chapstick (I like Coola)
- money + cards + ID (post-race brunch)
- bib + 4 pins
Did I forget anything??
Hydration is key! //
If my race is on Sunday, I start increasing my water intake that Monday. I try to aim for half my body weight in ounces on typical days and up my hydration intake closer to 90-100 ounces leading up to the race.
Plan to hydrate early in the race!!! Don’t wait until you are feeling thirsty. At that point, you are heading towards dehydration.
Read more hydration tips here.
// Plan the Expo
Make sure you get the information for the Expo or Bib Pick up. Sometimes races offer Bibs to be mailed to you directly or they hold an Expo for Pick Ups. The races that I have been in did not offer same day/race day bibs but I know that is also a thing. So double check which option is going on for your race.
Expos are amazing because you get to see/ meet other runners and check out new brands that align with running + fitness. I have found several new brands that I still use from previous Expos. I also donate my old running sneakers there.
Eat all the carbs //
It’s all about the pasta. Well let’s be real, any carb is Queen when it comes to race weekend. So go ahead, and fill up that plate and don’t. look. back.
You want to ensure those glycogen stores are packed so you can have the best race possible.
// Stretch, Foam Roll, Repeat
Gotta get those muscles feeling ready to race!
If you have been following my training journey through The Rundown Series, you know I have been implementing more and more stretching + foam rolling. I’m telling you, it seriously makes a difference. I didn’t feel any really crazy soreness and feel my range of motion (ROM) is improving over the last ten weeks. This was something that I personally needed to focus on to fix my muscle imbalances and stay injury free.
Don’t forget to properly warm up and stretch after the race!!
Prep that Playlist //
Gotta have those pump up tunes that get you fired up! I’m a firm believer that the playlist makes or breaks any workout! So get prepping that playlist packed with all your favorites. Just remind yourself to no sprint the entire race. Again, Guilty!playlists!
// Shake It Out
Plan a 2-3 mile (depending on race distance) run one or two days before the race. Just to get the nerves out and to flush everything out. I never used to do this but felt better when implementing this final run into my program.
Run Your Race //
Do what feels good for you. This is YOUR race after all. Go at your PACE. Have fun with it! Take Selfies at the mile markers. Running with friends always makes thing better. And go by faster! Don’t worry about anyone else except YOU!
// Plan Your Post-Race Meet Up Spot
If you are running with friends or want to meet up with family at the finish line, plan a designated location prior to the race. There’s a ton of people at the finish line trying to do the exact same thing you are, finding your cheer squad. Phone service gets spotted due to the number of people so I always plan a spot and wait for my peeps there.
This also goes for that post-race bRUNch. Make reservations or send a friend to get there early to grab a table. Nothing is worse when you want all the food and you have an hour wait. Or, try a location that is away from the race so it is more likely to be less busy than the spots right in the ring of fire.
Plan to get to the starting line //
I have to be early to like everything and race day is no different. You want to make sure you have enough time to find your corral, bathroom, find friends, selfies, and the ever most fun thing in life – traffic or even worse, parking. I highly suggest taking public transportation to and from the race and leave early!!
I hope this helps shake out all those pre-race jitters.
These are some of my best tips and from I have learned over the 20 races that I have completed. And trust me, I have seen and tried it all.
I wish you all the luck in your race! I know you are going to have a fun time and crush that pavement!
See ya at the starting line,