How to prepare for race day
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy…I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” This saying says what race prep training as well as what race day is going to feel like. Not everyday is going to be easy or the best run you have had. You are going to have some shit days and days where you just want to give up and curl up in bed. But, those you want it more and who are willing to push past that doubt in their head are going to be the ones you come out on top. Here I will show you some ways to help you prepare for the days leading up to your next race and on race day.
This is a crucial component as your leading up to race day. You do not want to be at your hardest scheduled workout week and going into the race completely fatigued and gassed. So, instead leading up to the race wither two or one week before we start to reduce the amount of training we are doing in order to allow the body to fully heal and recover for our race day. So, follow the training you are doing and do not over exert yourself, when the time comes on race day you are going to be thankful you took the time to recover when you smash your goals.
Come on, let's be honest who doesn't love carbs. Everyone loves carbs. Carb loading is important when leading up to your race day as running tends to burn a higher about of glycogen as fuel, instead of fat. So, the day before the race we need to top up those glycogen stores by modifying our meal plan to increase carbohydrate intake for the race. One of the better ways I have found to do this is to have Italian food for dinner, whether that be pasta, a salad, and some garlic bread or pasta and bread of some kind. Just make sure to load up on the carbs the day before while not over gorging yourself to where you feel awful on race day.
Properly Hydrate before/during/after the race
Such another underrated preparation piece, hydration. The nerves get the best of all of us when it comes to race day, you get all queasy and are just ready to start the race but you forgot to hydrate and half-way through, BAM, cramps hit you. Hydrating before/during/after the race is so important to keep you and your body operating at 100% efficiency. So, we are going to want to make sure we are drinking plenty of electrolytes before and after the race, along with following our inter-race nutrition we have tried throughout the training block. Keeping the electrolytes topped up before ensures that we have a good amount of salt in our body prior to the race when we are going to be sweating from nerves and both the race itself. So, make sure you hydrate yourself prior to the race.
Make sure your sleep quality is good
Getting good quality sleep the night before the race is crucial to your performance. No one is going to want to run if they were tossing and turning, virtually getting no sleep. Not only will this affect your mental state by not seeping enough this will also affect your physical ability as your body will not have recovered fully from the day below, leaving you operating at sub-optimal levels. So, prioritize your sleep the day before the race and make sure you get to bed at a decent time for the time you are waking up for the race.
Lay out your race day items and nutrition
This tip is just going to help make your day a lot less hectic the day of the race. Having all of your items laid out the night before means that when you wake up and are nervous about the race you will not have to walk around wondering wear your headphones, clothes, shoes, etc. are. This is one tip gives you that little piece of mind in the morning to know that once you wake up all of your items will be waiting for you and all you have to do is get dressed, do your morning rituals, and then go.
Start the race slower than you plan
I know this tip just does not make any sense when your racing, why would anyone want to start out slower? Well, when you think of the logic it makes a little sense. When you start out the race running just a tad slower than your goal times you will have that little gas in the tank to keep progressively pushing a little more each mile until you close in on the finish line and you are able to basically sprint and smash your goal. So, set your pace time for the race and just start slightly slower and crush your goal!
Just enjoy it
Lets me honest this is the best advice I can give you on this list. Just go out and enjoy your race. Be present in the moment and just crush your goals. Whether you bet your goals, hit your goals or miss them. Know that you did your best and enjoy the process of exercising and bettering yourself.