Preparing for Race Day
Wow! All the hard work is done and race day is just about here – but it’s not over yet. What you do in the week before race day is key to having a great run. Here are my final tips for this year’s race!
In the Week Leading up to Race Day
1. Get your race day essentials sorted out early
Buy any gels, pre-race snacks, etc, that you plan to use before and during the run. Wash & dry your race clothes and pick up your race pack if you can.
2. Get your race gear organised
Lay out your race gear and check that you have everything. Pin all 4 corners of your race number to the front of your race shirt. Then pack everything else you need in your race bag. Remember to include your race day drinks and food, as well as something warm to wear afterwards.
3. Bank some extra sleep
It’s common not to have a good night’s sleep the night before race day. Try to ‘bank’ some sleep earlier in the week to make up for this.
4. Run, at least a bit
This helps to avoid feeling sluggish on race day. However everyone is different when it comes to how much is enough in the last week. Listen to your body, stick to your program and do what feels right for you.
5. Don’t change your nutritional and hydration practices
Try to maintain your usual nutrition plan leading up to race day and stick with the pre-race nutrition that you have practised before your long runs. You may want to pay a bit more attention to your hydration in the 1-2 days leading up to race day but don’t change it too much from what you would normally do. Sticking with what your body already knows and is used to is the key!
You have trained and practised for months – YOU ARE READY. My number one tip is: DON’T CHANGE A THING.
1. Don’t do anything that you haven’t practised in training!
This is one of the biggest causes of problems for runners on race day. It applies to shoes, clothing, sunglasses, nutrition and hydration. It can be very tempting to try a new drink or to wear something that you bought at the expo. Resist the temptation. Save it for the next race!
2. Eat your normal pre-race breakfast
You will have practised this many times in training. You may want to have it a little earlier than you normally do to allow for nerves and time to get to the race start but otherwise nothing should be different.
3. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the race start
Allow time to find parking, do your warm up, and have your last toilet stop. If you are picking up your race pack on race morning, remember to bring photo ID.
At the Start Line
1. Take some time to breathe
Once you arrive at your allocated starting spot, take some time to focus on your breathing. Calm your nerves and be “in the moment”. Reflect on all you have achieved and how you want your run to go.
2. Start slow
While the crowds at a big race are often a great motivation, all the noise and cheering around you can also make you start too fast. Try to ignore the crowd surge and start at your own pace. Going out too fast at the beginning can mean you struggle later in the run. Trust your training!
3. Enjoy your run
Take time as you run to enjoy the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula scenery and to breathe in the fantastic atmosphere of the race. You have done all the hard work to get here. Feel proud of yourself! Good luck and happy running!
P.S. Remember to pop in to the Scarborough Physio & Health tent afterwards and let me know how you went. See you on race day!
Shena has been a running Physio for 10 years with a special interest in run technique analysis. Her passion is helping new runners and keeping runners injury free. When she’s not helping people get back to their running, you’ll find Shena enjoying the waterfront and trails around the Moreton Bay Region. You can contact Shena at shena_h @ hotmail.com.