My Top 10 Race Day Tips + A Few Things from Yesterday
I am so excited to share with you guys a few of my top TEN Race day tips, but first, let’s talk about some life updates since yesterday I know you all are dying to know about every single highlight that happens through my typical day… 😉
First of all, my sister and sister in law spent the night last night, which meant that Landon and I were able to sneak out for an early morning run, while they watched Benaiah! (Don’t worry, they were up!) 😉
Landon went four miles, before heading home to get ready for work. Since I had two more miles to go before ending for the day, I finished up and came home a little later, totaling this morning run with 6.15 miles for the day.
My sister and I have similar taste when it comes to most things in life. Evidence of this = footwear. Chacos for life.
Dinner last night was lentil curry. I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t like lentils, but I am now convinced that I need to make them with curry powder from now on. GAME CHANGER.
Benaiah even like the curry and Landon did too! Score. I finished the evening with a spoonful of peanut butter and finished my current novel. Is it just me or do you feel a little sad each time a book ends? I feel like I am saying goodbye to a good friend every time I finish a book. Please don’t tell me I am alone with this.
Ahh, summer racing season is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited! Even though I run through the entire winter, I really, really love summer running! Yes, it can be hot and brutal at points, but there is nothing like those early morning runs and amazing tan lines, right? 😉
Landon and I have a half marathon coming up here in a couple weeks (our FIRST half marathon together!) and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. I am using this race as a long run for my marathon training as well as a test run for my marathon. Mid-distance racing is perfect test time for those marathons and I am looking forward to testing out my marathon outfit, fuel, pre-race dinner, morning of breakfast, race fuel, and post-race meal. Running is a lot more than just running, isn’t it?
Anyways, as I was thinking about racing and my morning of plan, I thought I would share my top tips on how race day strategies and simple ‘to-dos’ in order to make my life and yours, easier!
- Arrive early! I will never forget one 8k that I ran a couple years ago. My family and I drove to the race, that morning, and were super pushed for time. I didn’t know if we would make it in time. Thankfully, we arrived just in time to throw my bib number on, and line up, moments before the race started. Lesson learned. Arrive early so you have enough time to use the bathroom, stretch, hydrate a little etc. there is wayy to much stress involved in running (no pun intended!) late!
- Lay out all your gear the night before. Keeping with our non-rushed theme, another way to help the morning of go as smoothly as possible, is to make sure all of your gear is washed and ready to go the night before the race! Believe me, you do not want to be trying to find your sports bra the morning of! Make sure to consider if you want warm up clothes before (a light jacket and or pants) that you can toss aside just before the race starts. (so not your favorite jacket) Also, make sure to think about what you want to wear after the race. I like to slip on compression socks afterwards, so I make sure to pack those for afterwards, as well a fresh shirt and maybe some comfy clothes to relax in after all that hard work!
- STRETCH This isn’t something to bring, but make sure to stretch before the race, you don’t want to race on stiff muscles. However, we aren’t talking about static stretching (the kind of stretching that you hold poses for certain periods of time). I am talking about dynamic stretching: i.e. butt kicks, leg swings, a few strides, and lunges! All of these will help wake up your muscles and get the warm and ready to run!
- Hydrate, but not too much This is another important race day ‘to do’ but often time people mess it up. You don’t want to drink too much water and either over hydrate (which is dangerous!) or have to use the bathroom multiple times, but you don’t want to not drink enough water. I like to drink just enough to quench my thirst and feel hydrated, but not to the point where I have water sloshing in me. Remember, there are aid stations for that purpose!
- Do NOT go out too hard! It is SO tempting to go out and immediately want to run your hardest and best right away and right out the gate, but it is important to remember to pace yourself! Make sure to pull back and little and not let it all loose right away, the last thing anyone wants is to hit a wall mid race and not be able to finish!
- Bring your own race fuel and post race snacks/meals Something I’ve learned (especially for bigger and longer races) is to come prepared for anything. I like to bring my own fuel and post-race snack/meals just in case they don’t have things that work for me. Most (if not all) races will have plenty of fuel and post-race food, but sometimes the fuel they have during the race, may not be the kind that works best for your body (you will find this out via trial and error!) Do not bank on them having the exact kind that works for you.
- Bring a foam roller. Some times, bigger races will have foam rollers and massage therapists, ready and waiting for sore athletes to cross the finish line, but most of the time, that is not the case! I like to bring my post-run stretching gear for after racing, making sure I stay loose and limber! No injuries here please.
- Make sure everything electronic is charged the night before. The last thing you want, in a race, is your Garmin dying on you! In addition to having my race day clothes, socks, and shoes laid out, I like to make sure I have all of my electronics charged and ready to go! Fully charged phones + garmins = less stress for me!
- Go in, cautiously confident. As I approach race day, I like to head into the race with cautious confidence. Yes, there is always unknown factors like weather, hidden injuries, stomach issues, etc. but I try to not focus on what I can’t control and focus on what I can. Walking into race morning with confidence in all the training and discipline I have accomplished for that training cycle, gives me confidence that come race day, it should- will pay off.
- Have fun. Lastly, races are meant to be fun. Yes, I have goals that I strive toward and PRs I want to crush and eventually a BQ I am chasing after, but most importantly, I want to enjoy the experience! So, when you head into race day, remember what you’ve done to get there and let the race be a celebration of all of the hard work you’ve put in over the last weeks/months/ or years even!
With that, I will leave you for today! I hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday and I will catch you tomorrow!
Questions of the Day
- Who else is racing this summer?
- Would you rather run in the summer or winter?
- What are your Wednesday plans?