This past weekend, a good friend of mine ran her first half marathon. I talked with her the day before and she asked for any pre-race tips I might have. I told her some things that I do before each race, and wanted to share those tips with you as well. I truly believe in a running community where we can share ideas with one another. If it works for you, I’m sure it will help someone else along the way as well!
Top 5 racing tips:
1. Don’t stress if you didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before from nerves. It’s normal and the professionals say it’s actually two nights before the race that’s the important night of sleep.
2. Eat simple carbs the morning of so your body can easily digest them. And, stay with what you’ve been doing for your long runs and what works for you! Practice with your food during your training. The night before your long run, figure out what best energizes you for the long run the next day. For me, it’s pasta or other carbs (oh, how I love my carbs!). Then, the morning of your long run, figure out what works best and use that the morning of your race as well. Never change up your routine on race day!
3. Do an active stretching session before the race. Many people think static stretching is what you should be doing to warm your muscles up, but it’s really the active stretching that helps.
4. It’s okay to be nervous! I’ve been nervous before every single one of my races. Actually, it’s almost better that way because it means you care and want to do well! Nerves might bring you to start too quickly when the race begins, but try to tell yourself to slow down and run your own race! Too many times I have felt the rush of adrenaline right at the start time and ran too quickly at the beginning. It will only hinder you in the long run! I’ve heard that one minute too quickly in the beginning will hurt you two or three fold in the end!
5. HAVE FUN. This is a big one for me and this past race I had the most fun in, and PR’d! It helped I had beautiful weather and no big crowds to push through but I still enjoyed being out there and pushing myself.
So there are my top 5 tips for gearing up for your race on race day.
I’d love to hear what works for you!