Preparing for a Race

You’ve signed up for your first race. You are training hard and race day is looming. Now what? Here are some tips to help make your first race a great event that will leave you running toward more.

Check your gear 
Race day is not a good time to break out a new pair of running shoes or new clothes. Run in the shoes you used for training and clothes that you know are comfortable. Everything on your body from your headband to your socks should be road tested.

Check the weather 
Check the weather a day or two before the event and dress accordingly. If it is going to be hot, wearing a long sleeve t-shirt is not a good idea. If it is going to be cold, dress in layers so you can remove a layer if you get too warm.

Line up according to your running pace 
Most races will have the faster runners start towards the front and the walkers at the back. Make sure to line up with people of comparable ability. You definitely don’t want to start at the front if you run a 10 minute mile.

Start like a tortoise, end like a hare 
One of the biggest mistakes runners can make is starting out too fast. Running in an event is very exciting. Adrenaline can make you want to run quickly off the starting line, but doing so can make you tire early and cause finishing the race to be a painful experience. Pace yourself by starting out slowly and increase your speed as you finish.

Check your eating plan 
Try not to eat anything new the evening before race day. Make sure you eat what you know works with your digestive system. The morning of the race, what you eat depends on how many hours you have before the race. If you are eating within a few hours of the race, eat a small breakfast, like toast and/or a banana. Eating too much before you run can make finishing the race difficult.

Hopefully, these race day tips will help you put your best foot forward for a strong finish.

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