Everyone (and for every race) has different race goals, from the ever-popular PRs to just finishing and running healthy. Although we are all looking to do something different on our race day, the one thing we have in common is that we all want to rock the race and have a great time! I’ve never met anyone who was hoping for a miserable race day, just people with a wide array of hopes and dreams.
Before we get to race day, let’s start with the basics of rocking your race gear. The day before, lay out everything you’ll need for the race. This means all clothes, socks, shoes, watch, hat, inhaler, etc. Whatever you use and need for the day, just simply have it out and ready to go. There is no reason for you to be scrambling in the wee hours of the morning looking for a sock! It will cause unnecessary stress — and who wants to be stressed on race day? NO ONE!
Bonus: If you really want to rock it, have fun with your race outfit. Match with a friend or group of friends. Wear funky colors or crazy socks — neon, anyone?
Now on to rocking the actual race. First, remember to enjoy the course. The hard part is over — you signed up, you trained and you made it to the starting line. You put in the work, and your race is the reward. Running with thousands of others who also trained and waited for this day is exciting! So it’s important to keep your cool and stick to your pace.
Your race, your pace
I know firsthand how easy it is to get caught up in race excitement and go out way too fast. You’ll probably fizzle and struggle towards the middle or end of the race. You’ll be miserable — trust me! I’ve done it, I’ve made the mistake and gone out too hard and barely made it to the finish line. As tough as it may be, stick to your pace.
I like to follow the 1, 2, 3 plan…
- For the first third of the race, I go easy and take in the course and the sights.
- For the second third, I pick up the pace a little. Here, I am running not too easy, but also not too hard.
- For the final third, I go crazy! I let the music take over, I let the crowd pump me up, I let the excitement take over and I go all out. The last part of the race is your time to give it your all. It’s the time to push yourself and to fly across the finish line like a rock star.
This is part of why it is important to save a little energy and not go all out from the start. You want to go all out at the end. You want to rock it when you are getting close to the finish line — and the crowd is cheering, the band is playing and the announcer (if your race has one) is calling out finisher’s names or numbers. Nothing beats the feeling of finishing strong.
One more tip for rocking race day: DO NOT try anything new on race day. For real, NOTHING! No new clothes, shoes, socks, food, bars, bites, shorts, chews, fluids, bracelets, hats, nothing!
Not all races go according to plan. We can’t always control everything, but what we can do is control our reactions and attitude. If things start going sideways, throw your goal aside and just enjoy the run.
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