Season of Running.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Is it Saturday yet? For real.

Question: What is your pre race necessity? Or thing you have to do? 

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39 responses to “Season of Running.

  1. I know you’ll have a great run on Saturday. I’ll be cheering you on from home. Woo!

  2. I have a few pre-race/race day traditions. I always paint my nails red, I shave two days out, and this probably sounds gross, but I don’t wash my hair for three days because it helps my French braids (another tradition) stay in place. I also have oatmeal and one cup of coffee pre-race, and I take the same gel about 15 minutes before the start. Hey, if something works, then why change it?

  3. YAY! I’ll be there on Saturday and will be thinking of you as I run as well. This weekends race is just a fun run for me, as sleep has not been happening over here with the little one.

  4. I’m really excited for you and I know you’ll do well. My prerace essentials are eating carby bland meals the night before. I have a single cup of coffee the morning before a race as well as a waffle.

    Overthinking anything never did anything for anyone. I agree that just relaxing and waiting is the best way to go. You’ve done the training and the work, now just time to relax and let the results come to you!

    • I always have coffee before a race, how could I forget that one. I need at least one or two cups. Ugh just need to go in thinking this race is just for fun and try to kick it. My start is where I can either sink or swim.

  5. I’m excited to see how the race goes for you! I’ve only run one race before so I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about my ‘routine’, but it’s awesome that you’ve figured out what works best for you!

  6. Spark is definitely a pre-race necessity for me. It has to be far enough in advance that I don’t have to pee my pants on the course though, haha :)

  7. Water rest and fuel have become my biggest priorities. I’ve raced when each of those is off, and it’s been an awful race experience ha. Go figure. Enjoying the moment and the time out with other runners is another priority. Races are celebrations of training and the love of running/being out with friends and whatnot, so I don’t like going into them with too much pressure. If a goal is reached, great. If not, oh well

    • water especially,that has killed me come race day. If I am thirsty the morning of, I know I am sunk. (as i chug my water currently..)I love that celebrations of a training season, such an awesome thought. Too much pressure never works for me either. Only sets me up for failure.

  8. I hope it goes well for you! I don’t have any pre-race rituals, as I am yet to do a race yet. But it is something I am working on :)

  9. Pre race my body is weird about food. If I eat things with lots of fiber within 24 hours of the race it’s bad news bears. And if I have coffee the morning of? Well I’ll spare you those details but I literally shouldn’t even show up to the race haha

    • I need coffee the morning of, but that is really the only fiber – y thing i can have. I have to be careful too. so funny story, my family always says before a race you need to ‘shook’ basically arabic for take a shit. ironic? but what they always say has to happen race morning before you run or else it will be a bad bad race

  10. Ashley @MilesonOats

    PREACH ABOUT REST SISTA! I used to go balls to the wall with my training and week of running. Not smart, I’ve learned. I actually double up my rest days before races now or take it super light with cross training. My essentials are a lot of foam rolling, extra stretching (yes, I’m that girl stretching in the break room at work), and a lot of hydration. Oh, don’t forget the extra carbs. Uns, uns, uns ;)

  11. I also don’t really have any set pre-race stuff. i actually like to shower the morning of and get up with plenty of time to drink some coffee, go to the bathroom a million times and get in a good stretch.

  12. So many pre-race quirks. Before all of my full marathons I get a hair trim (dont ask me why), I make a million lists before races,especially if I am traveling for it. Morning of the race, early wake-up, cold coffee, shower,compression gear, goldfish and PB&J.

  13. THANK YOU. I needed this post. This is my first “long mileage” race and I’m stressin!

  14. Well, I think we are both very well aware of my absolute inflexibility when it comes to pre-race pasta. Haha. I also always have toast and peanut butter before any morning run, including races. How much I rest before the race kind of depends on how long it is/how much I care about it, though I do always take the day before a race off exercise entirely, and if it’s a longer race, I’ll take two days off. Oh, and if I have a half marathon or marathon, I gently carb load the entire week leading up to the race. aka I have naan with my dinner all week long, and it is heavenly :)

    You’re going to do AWESOME on Saturday. I can feel it!

  15. My lucky socks that I wear inside out…true story!

  16. No prerace rituals as of yet! The R ‘n’ R is my first marathon EVER and only my second race post 10th grade, haha. Good luck on Saturday!!!

  17. I haven’t developed any rituals yet but with a looming injury I can see it coming. Just getting into longer races where you actually need to plan in advance like this is all new to me. Thanks for sharing so I can keep them in mind for when I get to that point!

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