Five tips for race day
Prepare your equipment the day before the race
If you look on social media the day before a race, you will see a huge number of photos of runners laying all their equipment on the floor. Not only does it lead to a great Instagram picture, but it’s a great way to visually check you’ve got everything. You wont forget your clothes but make sure you have already pinned your race number on your running vests, put a timing chip on your trainers (if applicable), have all your race nutrition ready, and everything charged (phone, GPS watch, wireless headphones, etc). You don’t want to be rushing around in the morning, so get it done the day before!
Don’t do anything differently in the race to your training sessions
At every single race, I will see a number of runners in brand new trainers, wearing clothes they’ve never worn before, and eating and drinking brands they’ve never tried before. This can be a recipe for disaster. You do not want anything new on race day! Practice everything during your longer training sessions.
Don’t start your race too quickly
Another common mistake that runners make is starting too quickly. A mixture of nerves and adrenaline often causes an increase in pace. Whilst you are in a ‘race’ you are only racing yourself, so stick with your pace and don’t allow other runners to dictate your gameplan. If you start too quickly, the likelihood is that you will fatigue.
Have support on the day
Having friends and family on a race course is really important. They can give such a boost in motivation, particularly when you are starting to fatigue. Make sure you know where they will be. It can be extremely frustrating if you miss them! Also, make sure you get your name printed on the front of your running vest. Having strangers call out your name helps so much.
You’ve done the hard work, now enjoy the day. Weeks and months of training are done, so just relax (easier said than done, I know). Trust your preparations, race your own race, and visualise how good you’ll feel when you cross the finish line and they place a medal around your neck.