Developing a pre-race routine that works for you is crucial to having a positive experience at your next race. You work and train hard for weeks leading up to the event, and the last thing you want to do is sabotage that by failing to prepare yourself on the morning of your race. Here are some of the things I do to help get race-ready on the morning of my event:
- Eat breakfast early— I ALWAYS make sure that I leave plenty of time after my pre-race breakfast and the start of the race. Make sure that you experiment during training with a meal that works for you, so you don’t have any surprises on race day! 😉 You want to eat something that doesn’t have a ton of fiber and is easily digestible. If you have coffee in the morning, make sure you leave time for it to work its magic.
- Warm-up— Your warm-up routine should be in sync with the length of the race– you should do a longer warm-up if you are running a half marathon than you would for a 5k. I also like to do some easy stretches after I warm up and then do a few strides.
- Use Visualization— Visualize yourself running your goal race. If you have a specific personal record (PR) in mind, visualize that number on the race clock at the finish. Imagine yourself running relaxed through the course. You probably think I’m crazy, but visualization works REALLY well. I have done it successfully, as have many other athletes!
- Lay Out Your Race Day Outfit— Picking the right outfit for race day is crucial to running a comfortable race, literally! Make sure that you have wear tested your race outfit ahead of time during training. You don’t want to discover during your half marathon that your running shorts give you a wedgie! 🙂 I always have a ton of gear in rotation to make sure that I find a combination that makes me feel comfortable, fast, and stylish. You can check out Zappos for a HUGE selection of running apparel. They are sponsoring Bay to Breakers this year, and there’s some great race gear too! I love that you can get fast and free shipping and that they have a 365 day return policy! I have purchased other clothing items and shoes there too, and I’m always impressed with the 24 hour customer service (holler at them at (800) 927-7671 with any questions or issues). 🙂
- Relax— I know it’s easier said than done, but try to relax your mind and body as much as possible. If you are relaxed, I promise you will run better 🙂 If you get too anxious before a race, it can cause you to go out to fast, and then you can end up crashing and burning later in the race. Listen to your favorite songs or take some deep breaths after your warm-up and while you wait for the start of the race.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.