You've (hopefully) done all the necessary training. Preparing for the big race day, though, involves more than just logging miles in your running shoes.
First of all there's the taper. A taper (that period before a race where you scale back the mileage and intensity of your workouts) isn't usually necessary for a short distance, like a 5K of even a 10K. For a longer event, like a half or full marathon (or even longer distances), though, a taper is crucial. A lot of newer runners may fear they haven't done enough, especially if they have not hit all of their training miles or had to skip a few scheduled runs. Experienced runners can sometimes be over confident in their body's ability to recover. None the less, a taper period (usually 2-3 weeks, depending on the distance of the upcoming event) is vital for your body to rest and be thoroughly recovered prior to the start line. There's nothing to be gained by making up a few extra miles in the final week(s) leading up to the race...and you put your body (and its performance on race day) at risk for injury by over-doing it that close to the race itself.
Carbo-loading is tricky. Some carbs the day (or evening) prior to the race will give you a few extra calories (and some peace of mind), but you actually need those carbs a few days prior as well. In fact, the entire week before your race should be devoted to sensible food choices, not just the 12 hours prior to the race. Over-doing the pasta could leave you feeling bloated, and that's not very race day friendly.
The same goes for hydration. Yes, your body needs plenty of water for (and during) the race, but it's best to be mindful of staying hydrated in the week prior as well. Just like with carbo-loading, too much hydration at the last minute could have you in the porta-potty more than you desire.
|to drink or not to drink...and how much?
|The tech short sleeve top (with arm sleeves) and wind breaker worked perfectly!
|My Race Day Preview for Grandma's Marathon (June 2017)
|the bag is ready and waiting for me by the door...
Finally, consider mapping out your driving route a few days prior, especially if it's to a place where you're not familiar. That good ole GPS is not always 100% accurate. It may direct you to the shortest route to your destination, but it may not be the easiest route to navigate...especially if it's still dark when you're driving. Also, the GPS doesn't always have access to the temporary closed streets (due to the race course). Just something to think about.
So, there you go....a few of my suggestions to help you ease the stress on race day. Any tips or suggestions you'd add?
I'm linking this with Susie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.