Countdown is ON
Crazy excited is an understatement! I am so looking forward to running the marathon in my home town. Although I will likely need to keep it slow and steady, not getting any personal bests in terms of my time, I’m still excited to run. I’ve been dealing with lower leg issues for over 6 weeks now and do not have any power. I’ve pulled back in hopes of giving them some rest. I still have 2 goal races to get done in June so I want to prevent a serious injury.
Preparing for Race Day
So what can be done leading up to race weekend? Here are a few of the things I’m spending my time doing. I hope it helps you as well.
Do not wait for the night before the race to eat well. You should be drinking more water and eating well most days, but at the very least, the week(s) leading up to your race. Make sure you are loading up on healthy carbohydrates (avoid sugary zero nutrient junk), lean protein and fresh fruits/veggies. Some of the things I like to eat are: bean patties, oatmeal, chicken breast, salmon, rice, quinoa, fresh fruit (snack mid-morning), salads and sweet potatoes. Also, get some good fats in your diet. Avocado and hummus are great for sides or dipping. I will often add hummus as a side to my bean patties and use it as a dip for fresh cut veggies.
Recipe for bean patties:
can of black beans
1/4 cup oats (I use steel cut ground up)
diced onion (optional)
cumin (to taste)
Bragg’s Liquid (few sprays or 1.5 tsp)
salt/pepper (to taste)
I throw it all in a food processor and then make 4 patties. I’ve also used a potato masher and mashed the beans then added the rest of the ingredients. Add some coconut oil to the fry pan and cook the patties at a medium-high heat, both sides. It makes 4 patties.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim for 7-8hrs a night if you can. Your diet and sleep are important aspects of recovery. I also take extra time to stretch/do yoga once or twice in the week. You want to be relaxed and ready for race day.
Some people prefer listening to the music they trained with. I personally like to mix it up with a few new songs sprinkled throughout my playlist. Do not leave this to the night before. Trust me. I have had unnecessary stress trying to get my playlist organized the night before a race. Usually, I scrap the idea and run with what I have. Not this time. Got it all done a week ahead of time. 😉
4. Race Day Fuel, Gear and Clothes
I like to plan what I am wearing ahead of time. You should have already practiced with some long runs, but knowing what you are wearing ensures that it will be clean for race day. The same goes for your fuel. Now is the time to do a quick inventory of what you have and go buy anything you will need. Or, write a list and pick it up at the expo (but I like having everything prepared before hand). This way there are no last minute panics.
5. Laying It Out
There is a reason a lot of us do Flat Race Runfies – having everything laid out and ready to throw on first thing in the morning gives peace of mind in knowing that you have everything you need for the race. I use my dining room table to lay out my clothes, gear, fuel, electrolytes, etc. I do not want to miss anything. Once I have everything ready, I lay out my race day clothes and take my “flat runner”. 🙂
When I head out in the morning for a race, I’m wearing or carrying everything I will need. Besides, you’ll sleep better knowing it is all together.
6. Organize Meet Ups
If you are planning on meeting friends and/or family prior to the race or afterwards, choose that spot ahead of time. Figure out where the road closures will be. How are you arriving on race day? Plan these details out in advance to make it easier and less stressful on race day.
7. Trust Your Training
My last piece of advice would be to trust your training. Regardless of the distance you are running, if you followed a plan, know that the training will get you to the finish line. There can be a lot of variables on race day that you cannot control, so don’t try to. When you get up, deal with the weather and dress accordingly, but do not let that sideline you from doing your best. Get to the start line, believe in yourself and have fun! No matter what your time is, whether it turns out to be your best run ever or perhaps your worst, I guarantee you’ll learn something from it. Celebrate the hard work you’ve put in and be proud of your well earned medal.
These are the things I like to do ahead of time, as it seems to work for me. Are there things you do that work better for you? Is there a tip you’d share with someone running their first race?