Race day can be a bit stressful, knowing where to go, making sure you have everything you need, getting there on time. It takes a little planning but you can help race morning go smooth with a little planning.
I would like to start by saying that all of these suggestions are geared toward a race distance of 5 miles or less. They are also geared to someone who has trained for the distance and will be able to complete it without an extreme amount of strain to the bodies. If your going over 5 miles I will do a mid distance and a long distance race prep post later. If this race is going to be a extreme challenge for you make sure you take all necessary precautions (talk to your doctor or trainer) as well as these hints.
I’m not a professional and this is not medical or professional advice this is personal preference.
Eat Normal-For a race of 5 miles or shorter there is no reason to carb load or protein load the night before. Just eat like normal. Don’t try something new or something extra greasy just eat normal.
Lay out your Clothes– I mean EVERYTHING!!! Socks, shoes, undies, bra, bottoms, top, and jacket. If the weather is questionable make sure you have options out so if its too cold for your capris last moment you don’t have to go searching to find your tights.
Lay out your Gear- Gloves, ID Bracelet (you have one right?!?!) headphones, watch, arm band, bib, pins and chip.
- Plug in any electronics- GPS, iPod/MP3 Player, cordless headphones, make sure they are all plugged in the night before and make a list of them to lay out with your gear so you don’t forget about them.
- Know where to Park- This is a big one for me. Many of the races I run are in an unfamiliar area to me. Not knowing where my ramp was almost made me miss a race once….and cause a brief nervous break down. If you can scout it out, if you can’t have a good map/gps ready.
- Snack- If the race is at an odd time of day for you to be running make sure you snack before it. Personally I don’t think you ‘normally’ need a sports bar or anything for a race of this distance however if you normally wake up eat and then run within an hour and this race will be 2-3 hours after your breakfast its a good idea to have a snack about 30 min before the race.
- Arrive Early- A lot of pre-race stress comes from feeling rushed. Make sure you arrive plenty early to find the start, go to the bathroom and meet up with any friends you want to. Then take a little time to stretch, gather your thoughts and enjoy your run.
- If your racing to win- If your racing to win your category or an overall make sure your there plenty early to get a good start position. Although most chip timed races don’t start your time until you cross the start line you don’t want to be fighting your way through slower runners until you can really hit your pace.