So you have logged the miles, put in the sweat, and are ready for race day or so you think. Here are tips and tricks to help you not wake up on race morning thinking #WTF did I get myself into.
- Double Check Logistics…Reconfirm your race plans a week ahead of time. If you are staying at a hotel confirm your hotel reservations, race registrations, and any travel arrangements. If there is a race waiver print it ahead of time.
- Have a Cheer Plan…Family and friends always help me get to the finish line. With my family they always stand on the same side of the street so I know which side of the street to gazing on as I run past agreed upon cheer locations. My family regardless of the race always stands on the left side of the street. Even if it is not an agreed upon location I always continue to look to my left in hopes that they surprise me.
- Meeting Place…Designate a spot to meet up with friends and family after the race. Be sure to give them a time frame for when they should expect to see you cross the finish line.
- Don’t Overdress…It will most likely be cool at the start of the race, but wearing more clothes than needed could also slow you down. To stay warm at the start line bring an old beach towel that you are willing to part with and throw on the ground as you warm up. This also make a blanket to stretch on at the starting line.
- Create a Flat Racer…The night before the race layout all race day gear. This includes putting your chip on your shoe and your bib on your shirt.
- Race Fuel…The night before also layout your race day fuel. For me it is a Bio-K Plus probiotic drink which I drink before I leave for the race. Then a banana before the race, which I typically eat as I am walking to the start line. And a GoGo squeeZ that I eat around mile 9. For those with a less sensitive stomach there are GU gels or chomps, Cliff Shot Bloks, sports beans. I recommend doing taste tests prior to race day to determine which you like and don’t like as many of them take an acquired taste.
- Start Slow…Remember that you competition is you and you alone. Save your energy for later in the race when you might need it.
- Mileage Jitters…If you are feeling overwhelmed by the distance that you have to run to avoid hitting the wall break the miles. For example if you have 9 more miles break it down into 3 stretches of 3 miles each. Which in the end will give you the attitude that I can do this!
- Be Teach Ready…At the start line make sure that your watch has located the satellites. Do not however it start until you cross the starting line. This will help you keep track of your pace and time without having to do the math whenever you see time clocks along the course.
- Line Up Early…You don’t want to be rushing to start line. It is usually a lot of fun to get there early and get in the game.
- Stay Hydrated…Along the course there will be designated water stops. Be sure to stop and hydrate. I like to walk through these stops and recompose myself. Remember sip don’t swig and crush the cup. To avoid choking pinch the top of the cup together to make a spout.
- Reflection…Think of your most successful training run and use it as a guide for race day success.
- Have Fun…It’s not just crossing the finish line, but enjoy the journey in getting to the finish line.
QOTD: Do you have tips or tricks for first time racers? Are you a first time racer, if so what is the best tip that someone gave to you for race day?