We train and train for weeks and months at a time. Everything is completely laid out for us in regards to our mileage and what type of exercise we are going to be getting in during that set time period. Yet, when race day comes, some of us still tend to freak out. Before you second guess toeing the start line, check out a few tips on how not to be a race day spaz!
1. Be Prepared
Set out everything you are going to need the night before race. And I am talking about everything – shoes, socks, energy fuel, etc. You will feel much more calm the morning of your race when you can just stand in one spot and have everything you need at your fingertips. Are you going to be racing out of town? Do this while packing, and have everything in plain sight so you can see whether or not you are missing anything.
2. Carry On
If you are racing out of town and coming in the day before the race, carry on your bag. Even though some airlines do let you check a bag for free, accidents happen, and luggage gets lost. You wouldn’t want all of your race day gear to be in Minneapolis when you are flying to Denver. It happens. Be prepared.
3. Do What You Normally Do
A lot of people completely change their routine come race week. Unless this routine involves lost of sleep and water, don’t do too many things different. Your body is used to what you have been doing the past few months. Don’t change it now, or you many not like the outcome. Eat well before every long training run, and eat a similar meal before race day. You will not be sorry.
4. Nix the sightseeing
When running races in new places, it is so easy to get caught up in everything the city has to offer. Other than hitting up the race expo the day before, stay off your feet as much as possible. Plan your trip to extend a few days after the race, rather than before. Yes, you may be a little tired walking around a city like NYC after a marathon, but wouldn’t you rather that than during 26.2? (I’ve experienced this one first hand unfortunately).
5. Get some support
You know all of those times that you had to decline a happy hour, a late night out, or a beach day because you had a long run to either a) prepare for or b) recover from? Well be sure to let all of those people know you are running a marathon on the day and time of the race! I love finishing a race and seeing loads of texts, tweets, and voicemails from all of my biggest supporters! It is such a fun thing to look forward to before, during, and after the race.
6. Trust Your Training
This is by far the most important tip by far! When picking a plan before you started your training, you probably had some criteria that it had to fit in – it needed to fit in your schedule, be challenging enough you would see results, etc. So on race day, you should know that this said plan is supposed to translate in to an awesome race. Why doubt that? Trust the last 16-18 weeks of training that you have put in for this race! Give the next few hours your all, and tackle all of those miles you have trained so hard to complete!
With so many spring marathons coming up in the next few weeks and months, I know I have to remind myself of these tips as well! Don’t be a spaz, and just give the race everything you have!!
Any other tips out there? Are you a race day spaz?