I have gotten several emails about how to prepare for an actual race and what I do the days before, so I figured it would be beneficial to blog about it!
It’s no secret that I love participating in running races. However, I still get nervous before major races. There are several things I do before a race to help calm my nervous and get me even more excited to run.
Days before the actual race I enter the tapering phase of my training. That simply means I cut my mileage way back, and focus on easy runs instead of speed work, hills, tempo runs, and distance.
If I am training for a half-marathon, the week before my race I typically run easy distances of 3-5 miles. If I am marathon training I typically run no more than 8 miles a couple days before the race. Your training plan will have this factored into it.
Ninety-nine percent of the races I run are on Sunday mornings. With that being said I always arrive to the race destination early Saturday so I can spend the day in the city and hit up the running expo.
Here are tips prior to race day:
Some of these tips may seem silly, but I like to be as prepared as possible- even down to where I am going to eat. When I run, one of the best parts of the race is seeing my family throughout the course. Most courses have several different spots where spectators can stand. My family and I go over the course the night before so I know where to look for them as I am running. As for the hotel- most of my racing is done in Chicago so I am very familiar with the hotels there. I always stay in hotels that are within a 5-10 minute walk from the start line.
Once you have all of that established, it will be easier to relax and get ready for the actual race.
The night before the race you will want to:
Laying my clothes out not only gets me excited, but it calms my nerves because I know I have everything that I will need. When it comes to dining the night before your race, stick to familiar foods. You don’t want to “shock” your digestive system with unfamiliar foods the night before and regret it during the race.
On the morning of the race I always get up plenty early so I do not feel rushed. I also love getting to the start line early and listening to the music and being surrounded by thousands of other runners. That is how I get excited.
Hope these tips help!