Prepping for Your Big Summer Race

Running a race during the summer is a popular way to motivate yourself to exercise.  All summer long, races of varying lengths are put on by all sorts of organizations and events.  Signing up and training with a friend is a great way to keep in shape for the summer.

After you have made the initial and middle steps of signing up and training, what you do right before the race is also important.  As race morning approaches, you want to minimize time on your feet and take care of important things such as finding directions to the start and deciding what you’ll wear. Saving these tasks for the last minute can increase pre-race anxiety and potentially slow you down.

Two Days Out:

Pick your clothes:  Use a checklist and lay out your clothes from head to toe in a corner of your room

Check the weather:  If cold temperatures are expected, consider donning a long-sleeved shirt to stay warm.

Get some sleep:  Pre-race nerves and excitement can keep you from sleeping well the night before, so two nights out is a great time to go to bed early.  If you can, shut off the alarm and sleep in.

One Day Out:

Go to the expo early:  Your race packet can often be picked up the day before the race, saving you from the rush to get it right before as well as easing your mind by taking care of business

Finalize logistics: Read through race instructions, get directions to the starting line and parking area, learn about road closures, etc.

Drive the course: It wont’ hurt to see where you are running, how steep and how many hills there are, etc.

The Evening Before

Final prep: Review your racing items, making sure you have everything you need, as well as what you want for breakfast in the morning.  Note where you put your car keys

Relax:  Try and be off your feet and resting by mid to late afternoon.  Read a book, play a board game, watch a movie, anything ot eliminate stress.

Set two alarms!

Race Morning:

Arrive early: Make sure you have plenty of time to park and go to the bathroom before a race.

Warm up: Do a 10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up your muscles

Soak it in:  The energy before a race can be extremely exciting.  Make sure to take a second to enjoy it and to congratulate yourself in accepting this challenge.  If you are nervous, take a few breaths and think back on your training.