#1-Rest the day before the race and two days if it is longer than a 10K. Rest means NO running and very little walking, biking, etc. This helps your legs be as fresh as possible for race day. You may feel a bit anxious because you want to run but resist the temptation. Think about your race strategy eg negative splits, how to run hills in the race, etc to prepare and focus.
#2-Eat very light on race day morning, I usually go for a banana and yogurt about 3 hrs before the race to have some energy and not feel full. Go with what works for you.
#3-Have your race day things packed the night before and know exactly where you plan to park at the race, especially if it is a big race with a long way to the starting line. You just want to think about the race, not be stressed at the last minute.
I would add to this don’t eat or drink something unfamiliar before or during the race. I have plenty of examples from friends who did this and at a minimum, felt queasy during their races (not good!).
All these things put you in the best possible mental/physical state to perform on race day.
My racing tips include making sure to eat a dinner consisting of lean protein and veggies the night before the race and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep my nutrition and digestion on point. I organize my race clothing, shoes and items like race bib, SPIbelt and nutrition the night before so I am ready to put them on and not looking for items in the morning. I make sure that I wake up early enough to be able to use the restroom, stretch and get to my race destination in plenty of time so I can find parking and avoid being stressed.
I’ve done my fair share of races over the past 10 years. These are 3 pro tips:#1-Pre Race Nutrition – My stomach is more sensitive than I care to admit so I need to be careful with what I eat the day/night before a race. For me that’s potatoes in any form – fries, baked, roasted; they give me the energy I need and just work for me. Pay attention to what makes you feel good during your training and get that in for pre race energy.
#2-Arrive early to race day – this will help with anxiety, parking, and port a potty lines. I’ve benefited for getting to a race early – I got Princess parking .03 miles from the beach I was running at and avoided parking at the other lot 2 miles away. I’ve also showed up late and had to sprint to the start line only to start as soon as I got there. Early arrival also gives you more time to get your mind into race focus.
-Have fun – This is crucial. I know we all have goals in mind for our races but we all do this for the fun aspect as well. It’s a huge accomplishment no matter what distance, what time you finish it at. Keeping this in mind the day before has helped calm my pre-race jitters. Don’t forget to smile.
My 3 Pro Tips for a successful race! #1-Don’t wear anything new on race day! It’s super tempting to get a cool new race day outfit, but if that’s you then buy it a month or so prior so you can test it and break it in a couple of times prior to the run so you know you won’t chafe or be uncomfortable.
#2-Training is meant for not just the miles, but also for figuring out your fueling method! This ties in to not trying anything new on race day.. make sure to stick with what you know for fueling. when in doubt, have what you know is usually light on the stomach! This will look different for everyone.
#3-HAVE FUN!!!! I think we can get way too caught up in our nerves, performance, paces, etc. But don’t forget the whole point is to enjoy and have some fun!!
#1-Arrive to the race 30 minutes before start time. That way you have enough time to go to the bathroom, stretch, and walk around the event.
#2-Make sure you wear clothing you are comfortable in and have run in beforehand.
#3-Make sure all your bits and pieces have enough anti-chafe cream on to make it through the race.
#1-I always make the night before the night before the one where I get to bed early and get some rest. The night before the race sometimes I’m just too nervous but that previous rest helps carry me through.
#2-I get up two hours before race time and eat and drink a lot of water to get the system well moved through before the race.
#3-I lay out what I’m going to wear so that I don’t forget anything day of, take a picture of it and while I often post it on social media, it’s usually to compare it to previous races where I forgot something (nutrition, ipod, safety pins etc).
#1-Be resilient – this is my top tip! It’s inevitable – things are going to happen. Your tummy gets rumbly, it rains, you couldn’t find parking and are sprinting to the starting line. The only thing you can control is your attitude and that makes all the difference. You will never have more time left in your life than at this very moment so keep smiling my fellow athlete – you are a runner.
#2-Get a good nights’ sleep, especially leading up to race day. I usually don’t sleep well the night prior, so I accept that will happen and focus on resting my body in the days leading up to it. Remember, sleep is a key part of your training schedule and will help with preventing physical and mental injuries.
#3-Stay hydrated! For the love of all things healthy – drink plenty of water and eat water-dense foods like fruits & veggies. On race day keep the hydration going by drinking water and include an electrolyte supplement as needed. It sounds yucky, but a good way to tell if you are properly hydrated is by checking the color of your pee – if it is very light yellow, you are good. If not, keep hydrating.
#1-One routine thing I do the night before each race is to set out all my race day necessities, such as race day clothes, bib, SpiBelt, etc. So that I’m not scrambling around race day morning or I that I don’t forget anything important. Plus it gets me pumped and ready for race day.
#2-Another pro tip for training that leads up to the big day is to make sure I listen to my body. I’m always anxious to put in more miles than necessary and that’s how injuries occur. So I make sure that I have a set training schedule and stick to it.
#3-One last pro tip that I share with friends and family when it’s their first race is to wear and use things that they are used to wearing during training. Stick with the things you know, pre race meals, clothes and shoes you train in, gels that you’re use to intaking- don’t switch it up or this could lead to a long and uncomfortable race.
No matter the size of the race, I always experience race jitters beforehand! I worry about all sorts of things – where will I park? What if I forget something? What if I need to use the bathroom? What if I’m late and miss the start? I have to remember to take a deep breath and trust that I am prepared. The night before the race, I gather everything I will need for race day – shoes, race bib, gels, safety pins, headphones. (Make sure your headphones and watch are charged!) I put all needed items in one spot so that I don’t have to hunt for it in the morning. This act makes race morning much less stressful.
During the week, I try to hydrate really well. I drink lots of water and cut out alcohol, especially for half marathons. I eat a heart carb-heavy meal the night before the race but avoid foods that I know can upset my stomach.
A shakeout run the day before a long race can help your muscles stay loose. Do a slow, short run to keep your body loose and ready.
Finally, on race day, have fun! Focus on finishing and being with friends. I can’t wait to be with everyone at the Cap10K this year!
I’ve participated and run in over 100 races to include large elaborate and small but still significant. My three pro tips to make every race a success is to prepare, trust, and enjoy.
#1-You want to prepare all your race gear and fuel a day or two before the race. Dress according to the weather. I always set out my shorts, tank top, shoes, socks, cap, race bib, fuel (blocks, potatoes, salt, and peanut butter), and sunglasses. You can always add or remove items leading up to the big day.
#2-Trust your training. You’ve worked hard up until this point and know and understand you can finish the race and finish strong. It’s completely okay to be nervous, but don’t stay in the space for long because your training has led you to the point of succeeding and accomplishing your goal.
#3- Enjoying yourself will allow any negativity to go away and will increase your relaxation and I’ve always heard that joy promotes heart and lung health. Remember, try your best and the good news is you can always train and there will always be a race to run. Keep going for it!
To elevate your success on race day make sure to do these 3 things:
#1-Hydrate! Make sure you are consistently drinking enough water a week leading up to your race. It may be tough, but make sure hydration is on your mind– your body will thank you!
#2-Make a Race Day Plan! I recommend making a plan for the day– where will you park? What time do you need to arrive? What do you need to bring? Etc.
Having a race day plan will allow you to wake up on race day relaxed and focused on racing. (One thing I always do is lay out my race day gear the night before– no scrambling in the morning looking for socks or my race bib)
#3-Do a training run at the same time you will be racing. This will allow you body to get used to running at that time. It will also give you insight as to what your body needs at that time– nutrition, water, bathroom needs, etc.
Wishing y’all the best on your training and seeing you hit your goals. I hope these tips help you on your next race!
Pre race diet- I am a routine eater. Mostly for simplicity, but also for my running. Race day is not a time to try a new breakfast, gels, electrolytes, etc. Keeping your diet routine reduces the number of things that can go wrong on race day.
My pre-race routine starts the day before. I avoid electrolytes during races due to some allergies, so I make sure to take electrolytes the day before and make sure I eat some balanced meals. Race morning involves waking up a few hours before start time. I don’t like to be groggy at the start line, so this usually means waking up two to three hours before the race (I’m a morning person). I eat as soon as I wake up, drink some electrolytes and coffee (separately!) on the porch to get acclimated to the weather. A trip to the restroom before some water and getting dressed. I try to arrive about an hour before the start. This gives me time to stop at another restroom on the way if I need it. I often meet other runners at the HEB bathrooms on the way to the race so I can avoid the port-o-cans. (Most of my PR’s have been started with panic about not having time to run to the restroom before the start – not ideal, but always gives me peace of mind at the start line).
Port-o-can pro tip/PSA – there is always that one line that is using half the stalls. If I see that happening, that is the line I will join. But for everyones sanity, try to be equitable with your port-o-can to line ratios!
One of the best things about the Cap 10k is that the weather is rarely too cold for standard shorts and t-shirt. When races are expected to be colder you can either wear a long sleeve shirt to be donated at the start line, or bring a small emergency blanket (you can find them cheap on Amazon). I don’t like throwing these away so I stuff these into my SPI or FlipBelt at the race start for reuse at the finish line. Remember that your core temperature will rise throughout the run. I went through a phase of wearing gloves and sun sleeves to start cold races so that I could just pull down the sleeves and pocket the gloves as I warmed up. *Gloves and a hat are the best way to stay warm on a run regardless of what else you wear. Starting a race warm means you will be shedding layers along the route. If you chose to do this, please wait for a water station so a volunteer can dispose of the items appropriately!
Pre-Race Training: Most competitive runners will taper their training for a PR attempt. Pfizinger and Douglas suggest longer tapers and Jack Daniels suggests shorter, but one thing both recommend is lowering the intensity of your training going into a race. For a 10k, consider running only easy runs the week before the race. If the Cap10k is your final race of the season you might run 100% of your finish TIME (not distance) at an easy pace 7 days out, and taper that to 30% the day or two before (your preference on whether to do a shake out run the day before). Runners who plan to race again after the Cap10k might do what I do, and run 50-70% of their weekly mileage the week before at an easy pace. This taper with a high intensity effort on race day prevent any regression in your training program.
I have been running for fun now for just about 10 years. Here are 3 tips that have helped me along the way:
Get your gear together the night before. Layout everything: the socks, the shoes, the shorts, the bib, the glide, the headphones, the watch (all charging)… everything. I find myself getting excited and nervous for the run when I’m doing this; it helps me get mentally prepared. This also makes for a less stressful morning.
Get your mindset right. When I might be having trouble sleeping due to nerves, I think about what the hardest part will be: “If I can get to mile x…. I’ll know I can do it.” The next day once I’m past that mile, I’ll create a new milestone during the run and repeat the process until I’m done. This is a great distraction for me as I will calculate the completed percentage; the overall goal becomes more attainable in my head. Every run is different sometimes the hardest part is getting out of bed and sometimes it’a certain mile, hill, ache, etc. Milestones help with feeling accomplished throughout the run. Find what works for you mentally and rely on that to help you when you hit the hardest part of the run.
Remind yourself running for fun is supposed to be FUN! I used to get really caught up on nerves and performance and sometimes I still do but I try to remind myself: I do this for FUN! Oftentimes the Pfun runners (Pflugerville running group that I run with) will plan a post run activity or the Cap10k Sunrise Tour gives a space to socialize and have fun in a new neighborhood. Having an activity you look forward to post-run/post-race can also be a motivating to get out of bed, and fun to think about when you are putting one foot in front of the other!
It has always helped me be ready for a race by getting my clothes ready the night before and getting to a race 20 minutes early. Last and the most important is eating a piece of my honey stinger waffle. This three things have always helped me to be ready to go when race starts.
I follow the below tips in order to have a stress free race day:#1-Eat a bland, high carb meal the night before avoiding any spicy foods or even sweets.
#2-I typically don’t park too close to the race start line as it can get a little hectic plus I use the walk as a warm up.
#3-Never go to the first port-a-potty on the race route as this one always has a long line 😉
I tend to go carb and protein heavy for prerace meal (usually pasta and chicken). I recommend wearing what you’ve trained in for the race (function vs. fashion). *Race day is not the time to break-in gear.* I recommend using the furthest port-o-pottie, as they are the least used and the walk will loosen those legs.
3 tips for race day success!
#1-Don’t wear new apparel, including shoes, on race day. Stick with what you’ve been training in.
#2-Incorporate fun runs into your training. Depending on what you’re training for, depending on what mileage you should reach on your weekend run, find a 5K, 10K, Half marathon to do. That will break up the monotony of training and make it much more fun!
#3-Living in ATX, seasonal allergies are almost a constant burden. To avoid having dry mouth due to allergy meds during training runs or races, chew on gum! You won’t find me doing a training run or race without a stick of gum!
I started running with Fleet Feet No Boundaries training and the 5k trainer recommended to never wear anything new on race day. This rule made sense to me so I’ve stuck to it.
For long runs, I try not to eat too much sugar, fried foods, or beans leading up to race day. This generally helps me avoid the portacan line.
To help alleviate some race day stress and to save time in the morning, I lay out everything I will need for my run the night before, everything from socks to nutrition to bib boards. This also helps me to avoid forgetting anything.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate during the week of the race- suggest carrying a BIG water bottle everywhere that week to remind yourself to drink lots of fluids
Morning prep- get up early, get your body acclimated to preparations (bathroom and breakfast) for that race morning, and get out on training runs about the same time as race start time
Fuel- if using gels, caffeine, wafers, electrolytes during training… for race day, determine when (ex. every hour?) or where (ex. every other mile?) to take fuel, have a plan for refueling
All the best for your next race!