The Race Report: Down to the Wire
“Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself accordingly.” –Amy Burfoot
You’ve spent months and months training, now it’s finally time to run your race! The week leading up to the big day is just as important, if not more important, than the previous 4 or 5 months of training.
One to Two Weeks Before Your Race
There are a few things you should focus on throughout the weeks leading up to your race.
Keeping yourself hydrated is so important. You don’t want to be playing “catch up” the day before or the day of your race.
Cut down on your miles
You’re supposed to decrease your mileage to assure there is enough glycogen stores in your muscles. You want to store as much energy as possible in your legs. Try not to wear them down during the weeks leading up to the big day!
Increase your carbs
This isn’t exactly “carb loading” but you may want to have a bit more carbohydrates than you normally do to assure you will have adequate glycogen stores. After all, carbs are our bodies’ first choice of energy!
I like to put an emphasis on stretching so my leg muscles are nice and loose on the big day.
The Day Before
You’ll want to make sure you have everything prepared for the next day. You don’t want to be running around in the morning trying to organize yourself, right?
Check where you’re supposed to go
You’ll want to know where you are going in the morning and where you are supposed to line up. Oh, and what time you are supposed to be there is also important!
Check the weather
Knowing this will help you prepare for what to wear and bring. If it’s going to be humid. You may want to pack some extra fluids! If it’s going to be cold, you’ll want to wear pants instead of shorts! **Tip: if it’s going to be cooler in the morning, but warmer by the time you finish, wear an old long-sleeved t-shirt on top of the short-sleeved one. Then, throw away the long sleeved t-shirt when you get hot!
Pack your bag
What do you need to bring? Fuel, race day bib, water belt, GPS watch? Have all those things laid out or packed up the night before so you can just grab it and go the next day… You’ll especially want to do this for a race like Disney, since the start time is at 5:30am!!
Go to bed early
Because nobody wants to run 26.2 miles without sleeping first!
Eat a healthy, but filling dinner
Don’t try anything new the day before the race! For me, too many vegetables or dairy products tend to bother my stomach. So. I tend to avoid those foods. **My typical dinner before a race is pasta with broccoli and chicken with olive oil. It’s plain, but still filling and I know it won’t upset my stomach.
The Morning of Your Race
There is still some preparation you have to do in the morning!
Eat a good, but familiar breakfast
Eat similar, if not the same, foods you’ve been eating before your long runs. Eating unfamiliar foods may cause nausea or cramps.
Mentally prepare yourself
26.2 miles is a long, long time. But you’re ready for it! How will you pump yourself up in the morning? You could… listen to music, read inspirational quotes, or give yourself a pep talk! Do whatever works for you, nobody is judging!
Double check you have everything
Even though you prepared the night before, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything you need. If it helps, make a list and check it twice (kind of like Santa).
After the Race
Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment!! Whether you complete your goal or not, signing up and training for a race is awesome and you deserve a celebration!
Blog updated December 2016.