Top Tips for Race Day
You've been training for this event for the past 8-16 weeks and have worked so hard - firstly we wanted to say a massive well done for getting to this point! The GOLDEN rule that you have probably heard 1000 times before is 'don't do anything different or change anything on race day'. From shoes, to a new outfit, to breakfast, to fuel within your runs, stick to what you know!
However we have pulled a few Top Tips together to help you best prepare for your race so all you need to worry about it putting one foot in front of the other and getting to that finish line.
1. Get off your feet
In the days before your race, it is important to try and stay off your feet as much as possible. Whilst walking to work to stretch your legs might seem like a good idea, now is the time to jump on public transport as you're going to need every bit of energy on the day!
2. Get ready the night before
Lay out your kit the night before, including socks and pants. Make sure you have worn all of your kit previously on long runs, so you know that it won't cause you any discomfort on the day. Get your mid-run fuel ready and pin your bib onto your top. Races normally mean early starts, so by doing this, you will feel organised the night before and won't need to worry about anything apart from putting it on the next morning.
3. Food, Food, Food
This is different for everyone and you will only find out what is best for you by trial (and sometimes error!). Depending on the length of your race, you may need to 'carb load' in the week before your race. This does not however just mean sitting down to a massive bowl of pasta the night before your race as this will not make you feel energised on the day. Over the course of the week, you should eat roughly the same amount of calories as you would normally consume, you just need to increase the proportion of carbohydrates on your plate at each meal to ensure your muscles are fuelled for the day. On the morning of your race, ensure you have a breakfast that you are used to and you have had before one of your longer training runs. Some ideas could be porridge (a runner's favourite), a bagel with a banana and peanut butter or some toast.
4. Plan your route to the start line and arrive early
Ensure you know how you are going to get to your start line prior to the race - again this will limit any stress on the morning of the race. Get to the start line early so you can queue for that last minute nervous wee and do a warm up. You don't want to be running to that start line.
5. Old Clothes or Bin Bag
Normally there is a wait between your starting pen and crossing the line, it is essential that you don't get too cold in this time. We recommend you wear some old clothes that you can donate to charity at the start line - most races do this now, or a bin bag to insulate your body heat.
6. Hydrate but don't over do it
Yes it is important to stay hydrated but stop drinking about 30 minutes before you start unless it is particularly hot. You don't want to be crossing that start line needing the toilet or with a full stomach as this will be on your mind the whole race. Make sure you hydrate fully in the week prior. If you know you are going to race to the toilet, make sure you pack some tissue in case of a quick break!
7. Don't go out too hard
Adrenaline on the start line will take over your body more than you think! It is important you stick to your race plan and don't go out too fast, no matter how good you feel. Especially if the race a long one, you want to start steady and stay even! If you are feeling good towards the end, you can always push the pace to leave everything on the roads!
Whilst these tips might seem like a lot to think about, you will do most of this without even thinking. You have worked so hard so now it is time to give it your all.
Good luck from the Nice Work Team!