In our last blog, We continued our talk a little more about some general best practices to follow the week leading up to a big marathon or endurance race. So hopefully you’ve got your nutrition, clothing and ride to the race figured out. Today, we’re going to talk about what you can do on race day morning to make sure you have a successful and stress free race.
Show up early
Come race morning, I always give myself at least an hour before the race starts to show up to the starting line, intimidate as many people as possible with some pretty impressive stretching and grunting (please don’t really do this), and generally get my bearings on whether I need to use the bathroom again or if my shoelaces are too tight. You’d be surprised how many times little things like needing to pee or a shoelace that is just a tad tight can derail you mentally and start to sabotage your race.
Remember: this is fun
I’ve saved the most important tip for last: REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN. Getting down on yourself and thinking negatively can ruin a race faster than seeing someone who just shouldn’t be wearing split shorts (you know who you people are). Worrying too much about a race the week before is stressful and I guarantee it will affect your performance. But getting down on yourself at the starting line and choosing to focus on things that may not have gone quite your way or affected your training badly will do nothing but set you into a negative mindset for the rest of the race. Relax. The training’s been fun, so the race is going to be fun. There’s no point in worrying about what you could have done better, that little twitch in your knee, or that long run you missed now. Just enjoy the experience. Remember to think positive and never take any race too seriously. Stupid things happen. You can roll an ankle stepping out of a port-a-potty, you could forget to set your alarm and not have time to eat. You could trip and fall flat on your face in front of everyone on your way to the starting line (personal experience). The best thing you can do is roll with it. Always remember this mantra: There Are Other Races. Nobody should dread a race day. It’s normal to be nervous, but if you find yourself having serious anxiety about it, maybe it’s time to take a step back and realize why you started running in the first place: Was it to feel good? Maybe get back in shape? Maybe you wanted to challenge yourself. You should feel extremely accomplished at the work you’ve put in. Even if you feel like you could have done more, you probably don’t realize how far you’ve come. Just by stepping out your front door for a training run or even just showing up to the start line on race day, you’ve already beat everyone that decided to hang out on the couch.
Anyway, there it is. Some good basic pointers to get you through a potentially nerve wracking week. Remember to have a great race and don’t forget to smile at the finish line!