By Joe DiSalvo
What to wear, what to eat, where to go - getting ready for a race can be stressful. We put together a few tips to help you get to the starting line stress free and ready to run.
Do a dress rehearsal.
If you're doing a longer race, like a half, full or ultra marathon, you're going to be running for a while. Figure out what you are going to wear on race day and try it out on a training run. Shirt, shorts, socks and shoes (and sports bras for ladies!). This will give you an idea of how comfortable everything is and if there are any places that cause chaffing or blisters. If you have any of those issues try using Body Glide or Nip Guards, available in our shops, to protect those sensitive areas. Also lay everything out the night before so you aren't searching for a matching sock or forgot to charge your watch. We put together an easy pre-race checklist for you below.
Get some sleep.
Most races start early due to road closures and if you're not already a morning person, that means less sleep than normal. Try to get to bed a little early to make up for those lost hours you would usually get. Also double check the start time to make sure you aren’t late!
PASTA...right? Not necessarily!
Carboloading doesn’t always meal chowing down on a huge bowl of spaghetti the night before a race. Although pasta is high in carbs, if its not what you normally eat before a long run, it might not work for you. Just like race day clothes, you should test out your meals during training. Try a few different dinner options the night before a long run to see what sits well with your stomach.
The same goes for breakfast, ideally you should eat 2-3 hours before the start of the race so your body has time to digest. Try to keep your breakfast light but make sure it is enough to get you to the start line.
Eat smart on the course
Nutrition also crosses the bride onto the course as well. If you are doing a longer race, chances are you will be using some form of energy supplement to replenish the carbs (and glycogen, your body’s energy source) you've lost during the race. Try out some different gels, chews and drinks during your training runs to make sure they sit well. There are plenty of different options out there (even some that are vegan!) so there is bound to be something out there that works for you.
Check out the course (if possible)
The last thing you want is to be surprised by a hill at mile 25 of a marathon. Take some time if possible to run the course you will be racing on. If its a longer race, break it up into smaller sections and use them during training. Another good reason to do this is to ensure you won't get lost. This is probably more applicable to trail races but it happens on the road as well. If you've run the course before, you’ll know where you're going and be able to focus on your pace and not the course.
Keep up with your training
This might go without saying but training is an important part of race day. Making a training schedule and sticking to it is a good way to ensure preparedness when you step up to the start line. This will also help to reduce the risk of injury during the race. Mix together speed work, long runs, and some rest days or follow one of the many guides you can find online. If you are running the Philadelphia Full or Half Marathon or Broad Street Run, check out our training group, Team Philly, which offers training plans for different abilities as well as weekly group runs!
Make a race day playlist
Whether you jam out to AC/DC or Katy Perry, music is always a great way to keep you motivated during a race. Put together a playlist of upbeat songs that will last you all the way to the finish line. Make sure you are not listening too loud so you keep awareness of people around you, because although you might feel like Rocky belting out Eye of the Tiger while you run, you're not the only person in the race. Yurbuds offer some great athletic headphones that stay in your ears even with the bounce of running and they also have bluetooth connected options as well so you won’t have to worry about that annoying cord! Aftershokz Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are a lightweight alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Trekz use bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features to deliver premium music play. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings - no matter where life takes you. Yurbuds and Trekz are available in our shops!