Before any race it is important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. I have always got butterflies in my stomach in the days leading up to a race, not for the running itself but for the logistical preparation that requires a bit of organisation, especially for an early morning race start.
Here are some of my tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible.
1. Fuel your body substantially. In the days leading up to a race, we do need to increase our carb intake, as carbs are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen which is the form of energy our body can access and use most easily. This doesn’t meaning having to stuff your face and overhaul your usual eating plan. Rather, focus on redistributing your calories by increasing your carbs, eating smaller amounts of protein and reducing your fat intake. Check out my post on Hi and Low GI Carbohydrates for some ideas. Remember the morning of the race is not a good time to try out new breakfast ideas, be safe and stick to something you know will sit well with you!
2. Hydrate! It is important to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to your race, to prevent dehydration and improve perfromance. Not convinced? Check out this article from Runners World. If you find normal water boring, try adding fresh citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange slices to your water 😉
3. Prepare EVERYTHING the night before. Layout your clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, running bib, safety pins, old jumper (often throw it to the side just before the start of the race), Ipod, watch etc. Make sure any tech stuff is fully charged.
4. Set 2 alarms! Often waking up for a Sunday run at 4am can feel like it is part of a dream, so be safe and set 2 alarms 🙂
5. Workout logistics. Often roads are closed and parking is restricted so I always try and use public transport on the day which is often free *bonus*. If you are meeting people after the race, make a meeting spot as for big races the crowds are usually quite big.
6. Mentally prepare yourself. Accept the training you have done, be confident in your physical and mental strength and forgive yourself if you are regretting not have done more.
Check out my last half-marathon race recap for some more race day info.. and remember to just enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, smile at the spectators and thank the volunteers 🙂
What is your next race?
What does your prerace meal look like?
What is your top tip for running a race?
*Please note, I am not a dietician or fitness expert, I have simply fallen in love with running and these tips are based on my personal experiences and research. If you have a query, comment or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.
Good luck to all those running the City2Surf in Sydney this Sunday!