This is a guest blog post written by Venue at Werner Park. You can learn more about Venue at Werner Park here.
Hey runners and readers! Today, we are here to provide you with helpful tips as you gear up for the big race! Getting prepared for a big race can be exciting and intimidating. We are here to help you breakdown your timeline leading up to the race to help you maximize your racing performance.
Weeks Prior to the Race:
- Run the race route, if you’re able. Getting the route under your feet can help you to get familiar with how long you have to go at any given point during the race. Knowing what landmarks you’ll see can help you set personal goals and may help you to manage the timing of your run. Also, you’ll get to know the terrain, where those hills and valleys are. Where will you need to push yourself, when can you take a breather? Running your route ahead of time can help you answer all these questions and help you devise the best plan for your race.
- Plan your diet. While you are practicing your running, it’s also a good time to figure out which foods help you to feel the best during your workouts. Pay attention to the way the food you’re consuming makes you feel, what helps and what hinders. Then, in the final days leading up to the race, make sure to avoid anything that didn’t work for you during your training period.
- Work on your race strategy. Before you toe the line, you should have an idea what your goal pace is.
The Week of the Race:
- Leave any strenuous activities until after race day. Mowing the yard, any big yard projects…set aside some time after the race to take care of these items, but until then, rest up. Try and stay off your feet as much as you can when you’re not training or going about your normal routine!
- Get to the grocery store and get those body-fueling foods that you’ve found most successful during your training prep.
- Stick to your routine. Don’t try to change anything. No new shoes, new foods, new gear. Stick to what you know works for you.
- Get your sleep!! For obvious reasons, you need your energy and resting up at night is one of the most important ways to prep!
- Keep an eye on the weather conditions. This can factor into how you end up running your race, what gear you use, what your race strategy is, etc. If the weather is less than ideal, adjust your race strategy.
The Day Before the Race:
- The day before the race, graze, don’t eat large portions. Multiple small meals throughout the day will help you far more than two or three large meals.
- Lay out your race day gear the night before so that the morning of the race, all you have to think about is your run!
- Make sure you have your race day logistic plans set up. How are you getting to and from the race? Where will you meet your group, if you have one. Where will you store your sweats if you plan to take them off before the race.
Day of the Race:
- Eat small portions at a time. Make sure you fuel your body, but again, the grazing approach is the way to go on race day! Also, don’t chug your beverages…sip slowly!
- Get to the race early by at least an hour so that you have time to get your number, use the bathroom, stretch out and warm up.
- Don’t dress too heavily, any clothing that you’re wearing at the starting line you’ll be wearing at the finish line also.
- Don’t forget the Kleenex! Running all your miles is hard enough without a runny nose, and Kleenex is one item you want to make sure you have on hand.
- Run with confidence! A positive attitude goes a long way in a marathon, and a negative one even further. Try and focus on all of the great workouts you accomplished during your training period. Try to keep your inner voice positive. You. Got. This.