I just wrote an article for active.com about race day tips. What are some others that you would suggest to your clients, friends or that you utilize for that big race day! Here is the link:
Race Day Golden Rule:
Use what worked during your training and don’t change anything.
– If you’ve never used a fuel belt during training, and picked one up at the race expo, try it out on your next long run at home.- On race day, grab water from a race volunteer and thank him/her for volunteering to support you.
– If you usually have a gel or two during a race, bring your own gel. The race might not be sponsored by your preferred brand (Gu, Clif, Hammer, etc…) and finding out whether your stomach can handle brand X gel at Mile 18 of your marathon is not fun.
– If you’re traveling out of town for a race, wear your running shoes. I’ve heard so many stories of runners who travel across the country for a race, forgot to pack their running shoes, and have a terrible race because they had to buy a new pair at the race expo and break it in on race day.
Good article. The only bit I might add is for comfort: 1-wear clothes that you’ve tried before and are comfortable in; 2-for ladies with ponytails, make sure the pony is tight, otherwise it’s a pain trying to run & fix your hair simultaneously. 🙂 Ditto for the clothes…running and trying to keep you shorts from riding up your belly is a nuisance!
Visualize the events of the day from the time you wake up until you finish the race successfully. Be flexible: things will come up that you didn’t practice or expect. This can be an opportunity for adventure (or even humor) or just a lesson in learning to roll with it. Being open to the unexpected will make you stres less and problem solve better when things are thrown at you. Try to take a moment or two before and during the race to take a breath, a mental snapshot, to remember why you are really doing this event, and maintain perspective.
Definitely want to know were I need to be before the race begins. Its good to think ahead about the unknowns and allow for them. What if: you cramp? you run out of energy too soon? and so on. The answers should be researched and will be a little different for everyone but, you should do this well ahead of race day. You don’t want these things going through your mind the night before; that time is for sleeping.
I also tell my clients to get everything ready for the race the night before. Most race starts are super early and there’s nothing like stressing that early in the morning to throw off your start. Another thing, rest and taper the week before the race. Your body need to restore itself for all the energy you’ll be expending race day. Take it easy, get a massage or schedule one for just after the race. And lastly, know where you’re going. There’s nothing like getting lost or searching for the race start when you’re nervous and you’re working with a time-line.