I tend to overall be an over thinker. And also very much a Type A routine person. If you couldn’t already guess. Funny though, when it comes to the few days before race day and even the day of races – I am not a creature of habit. I don’t have that one food the night before (the past few races I have had something different every time). I don’t have a specific race day warm up or week before running schedule. I don’t even pick out an outfit till the morning of! In a scattered sort of way, I thought I would share what crosses my mind the days leading up to race day.
Water me captain. I do struggle with drinking water on a regular basis but for some reason the week before a race I am on point with water. I make sure to always carry one around so that I am not chugging water the night before thinking I haven’t drank enough all week only to be up all night pee-ing. Oh come on, we all done that.
Know your food triggers. While some people do find that they need to eat specific foods the night of or maybe even the week of, I try to just follow this one rule. Stick to what I know makes my tummy happy. I do most of my carb eating 2-3 days out than actually the night of. For the celiac girl right here, my go to is not pasta but rather potatoes. So easy on the stomach and a perfect source of quick carbs. The night before, I always keep my meals plain and to the point.
Pick up your race day essentials. The day before I always make sure I have fuel for race day and throw away clothes if I need them. This weekend it is actually supposed to be quite warm so I am planning on wearing a throw away long t shirt to ditch at the beginning of the race. I know my aunt always needs to chew gum at the start so the night before we always hit the local store for some.
Have a race day plan. Now, I know some people are all about numbers. I am not. I don’t even wear a watch when I run races. Some people also just want to run a fun race. My plans tends to be vague but specific enough. Like this year – play the start super safe and the second half, get uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. I actually deliberately put myself in a slower corral time than even my best half PR so that I could make sure I started nice and easy.
Don’t underestimate sleep. The pre-race week sleep routine is probably the most selfish I am when it comes to me time. I make sure I am in bed early and get enough throughout the week. It always makes me feel that much better come the night before the race (the night that inevitably no one can sleep!)
Plan out that rest. I think I used to feel above the taper. Back in college. I thought, oh I don’t need rest the week of. False. A big part of my pre race routine is making sure I take plenty of rest days and take it easy overall with my running/workout routine. Nothing feels worse than feeling beat down at the start of the race. Nothing.
Get freaking pumped. For everyone, this is different. I think the expo totally puts me in the mode, normally why I go the day before a race to the expo.
Last but not least… don’t over think it. I am prone to this. But something I have trained myself to think over and over is ‘this is just another run’. I mean that really is what you are doing. Going out for another run, with a bunch of other people just looking to run. No matter what there are other races. I bonked far too many races last year but guess what, I still signed up for more this year. Sometimes we can’t control what happens on race day. It could be a bad race just because.
Is it Saturday yet? For real.
Question: What is your pre race necessity? Or thing you have to do?