Even the most thorough training program can come unglued if you’re not prepared for the realities of race day. This is particularly true if you’re just beginning your running career and have been training for your first actual race or event. Adrenaline is flowing, nervous butterflies are dancing around in your belly, and things can be forgotten or overlooked amid the excited tension. This is why an important element of race preparation is checking items off a pre-race list to make sure you haven’t made any costly mistakes or oversights.
Non-training-related race prep should begin as early as a week before the actual race day. You should familiarize yourself with the route so you feel comfortable with it; it may even give you that extra edge over your fellow runners! A week out from your race you should also have broken in any new shoes or clothing to ensure you aren’t facing any nasty blisters or chafing on race day.
Make sure you’re well-rested and well-fed ahead of race day, but don’t overdo the eating. Additionally, don’t overhydrate before the race.
Make sure you set an alarm for a bright-and-early time, and have a back-up. Prepare first thing in the morning and be waiting at the race site well in advance. Rushing to the start line will increase stress and burn energy you’ll need to put in your best performance.
Finally, it can be difficult to remember the myriad things you need to take with you and have ready to go on race day. Use our checkable list as a means of making sure nothing is forgotten. Good luck with your race!