Wednesday, May 6, 2009

10 Things To Be Sure and Do Before a Big Race

Before a big race, be sure and...
1. find out what sports drink and/or sports gel will be provided along the course (either train using what will be provided or decide to carry your own or have family members/friends provide it for you along the course; never train using one brand then switch on race day to another).

2. become familiar with the race course (no need to memorize every street name and turn, but identifying major hills and other course challenges can be helpful).

3. keep tabs on the weather (periodically check weather.com to see what the forecast is for race day; best to be prepared with cold/heat/rain gear than not).

4. give yourself plenty of travel time, especially if the race is out of town (if going to a new city, it's best to arrive two days before the race; gives you time to acclimate to your surroundings and a new bed).

5. pack your race-day clothes and running shoes in your carry-on bag if you're flying (just in case your luggage gets lost you'll be able to run as planned).

6. pick up your race packet early (no need to wait until the last minute; you never know what may come up to delay pickup).

7. have a plan for where to meet your family/friends after the race (some races have areas designated for this while others don't; no need speeding longer than it took to run the marathon looking for your family).

8. layout your racing clothes, shoes, and gear the night before the race (go ahead and pin your race bib to the front of your shirt too).

9. don't overdress for the race (rule of thumb is to dress like it's 15 degrees warmer that it really is; your body will warm up at least by that much while running).

10. trust in your training and enjoy yourself!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's another thought on shoes: If you're flying wear the shoes you're going to race in on your out bound trip. It sucks to find 2 left shoes the night before the race.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Anonymous! Great idea!!! Are you speaking from experience? LOL!

Terri said...

I especially need to heed no.9 I always overdress for the race then I'm stuck wearing it tied around my waist(like luggage-lol) or wondering if I should just ditch the stuff on the road. I love no.10no doubting just do what you know!
Great post.

DNLeeper said...

I'm good with everything except learning the course first.. I'm not a big fan of that. I don't want to spook myself out. For example, if I had looked at the NC Marathon 26.2 course, I would never have run it. Running these things definitely cause you to be a bit Obsessive-Compulsive... You are so right about the GELS and whatnot on the course. I recommend bringing your own with you regardless and not taking whats on the course other than the gatorade and water.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Terri! I use to be bad about overdressing too. I've gotten better lately. Also good idea if you need to wear layers to either have family/friends postioned along the course to take your unwanted clothes or wear old stuff that you don't mind tossing.

RunnerDude said...

Hey DNLeeper! Good point. Everyone is different. For me, I like to know where the major hills are so if I need to I can reserver some energy prior to getting to them. I don't care to know every nook and cranny, but do like a heads up on the major things.

Amanda said...

All great tips! Also don't forget to set 2 alarms, or set an alarm and order a wake-up call from the hotel. Oh, and speaking from experience if you need caffeine before a race, make sure you don't choose the decaf packet when making coffee in your hotel room, lol.

theanarunner said...

I am really enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work!

DNLeeper said...

Amanda.. Nice comment about the alarm. Once again, it has to do with being a bit OCD. I set four alarms.. hotel... blackberry... wakeup call.. watch...

RunnerDude said...

Hey Amanda! Awesome tips! I always do the alarm clock and the wake-up call. I'd be doomed if I picked up the decaf pack! LOL!Thanks!!!!

RunnerDude said...

Hey theanarunner! Appreciate the feedback! What's your next race?

RunnerDude said...

Hey DNLeeper! You OCD? LOL! You da man marathon man!

untpawgal02 said...

The last one about trust your training and enjoy yourself... oh so important!

Terri said...

Okay as of this morning I have one to add to your list. If you get dressed hurriedly in the dark make sure you don't put your pants/shorts on inside out and then not notice this until it's too late!

RunnerDude said...

Hey untpawgal02! So very true! We often do forget to trust and enjoy!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Terri! Awesome! Are you speaking from experience? LOL!

M2Marathon said...

Another great list! #2,3,and 8 are the areas where you can really let your running OCD have free reign. Feel free to check weather.com every 5 minutes the entire week before your race and adjust clothing each and every time. :-) And I totally agree with the multiple backup alarm system. I have recurring night-before-race nightmares that I overslept and had to run 5:00 miles to catch up. Hah!

RunnerDude said...

Hey M2Marathon! I actually did oversleep once (for a 10K). I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes and drove like a crazy person to get there only to discover the police were late getting there for traffic control. The race was delayed an hour! I was so pumped from trying to get there that I was completely pooped during the race. LOL!! Highly support the multiple alarm method.

Lorenda said...

Don't forget to put that chip on your shoe the night before when you put the bib on the shirt!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Lorenda! Man, how did I forget that one! Definitely don't forget the timing chip! Thanks!!

Lorenda said...

well, I just went through that routine last night!! It's fresh in my mind! Love those new paper chips, don't have to take them off after the race when you feel like you're gonna fall over!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Lorenda! I haven't done a race that used the paper flaps yet. Sounds a whole lot easier. Hey, which marathon did you do? How do you feel?

DNLeeper said...

I hate the paper chips... If you don't do it EXACTLY correct, it won't read when you cross the mat. I like the good-ol ChampionChip. With that system, you can register your chip and use it in all the races. My Disney World Marathon chip has been my friend through several finish lines...