Here are some tips that will help make your race day experience as stress-free as possible and may just enhance your performance in the process.
Get up and get moving
What to eat before the race
For the morning of the race, leave yourself time to consume and thoroughly digest a high-carb breakfast. Consume 75-100 grams of carbohydrates three hours before the race.
Keep hydrated before the race
If you have been in the habit of drinking coffee before your workouts or long runs, don't stop. It can actually be a performance-enhancer.
How to plan what to wear
Avoid stress by having all of your clothes, including your race bib, laid out and easily accessible the night before the race. If it’s an out-of-town race, make a checklist to make sure it's all there before you travel. Check again the day before the race. If you are missing something, you'll still have time to replace it.
What to bring in your race bag
- Energy gel
- Race gear
It's also important to pack clothes and gear that you have used before. Race day is not the time to try out new shoes, socks or shorts.
Avoid last minute rush, arrive early to the race
Know the course
Get psyched for the race
Don't forget to warm up
Stay calm and enjoy the experience
Most of all have fun and enjoy the experience of being out there with like-minded people who are probably just as nervous as you are. Don’t forget to enjoy the feeling of:
- People cheering you on
- Offering you replenishment
- Celebrating that you're out there in the first place!
Easy does it, remember to maintain your pace
Consider ordering yourself a temporary pace wristband or tattoo online to wear for your race. These can help you keep on track with your pace throughout the race and can be custom ordered for many races.
Hydrate, but don't overdo it
Recovering after the race
It is important to ice sore spots as soon as you can. While it's not necessarily comfortable, covering your legs with cold water and ice in a bathtub will help accelerate the healing process if you can bear it. Try to keep your legs elevated as much as possible for the next 24 hours.
Eat small, easily digestible foods following the race. Stick particularly to foods high in simple sugars before going on to lower glycemic foods and protein. Protein is important for rebuilding damaged muscle tissue.
Whether you are new to racing or an experienced runner, being prepared will help make your racing experience more enjoyable. And with each race, you will surely discover additional tips to add to your bag tricks to make your day go even smoother.