I wanted to write a post about my tips for race day but then I figured you probably must have to get sick of me every now and then so I recruited some of my absolute favorite girls that I run with to give their tips for race day!
1. Kassi Harmon:
(Her marathon PR is 2:49, 1/2 marathon PR 1:15 and she has an incredible history with track and cross country at BYU… this girl is an expert! (The times I have gone running with her are on her easy days… aka my speed work days:))
*Never worry about not sleeping the night before a race. As long as you sleep well most nights, it won’t effect you in the race.
*Stick to the pace you have been training at. You will most likely feel great from tapering, but you will run faster if you start out slower and run negative splits, than to start out too fast and run out of gas.
*Wear clothes and shoes that you have trained in and are comfortable. Don’t try out new things the day of a race.
*In addition to the previous tip, eat foods before and during the race that you are use to and have trained with. Try to keep things as normal as possible.
*Have fun and trust your training. You have put in the work and there is nothing more you can do but your best. Enjoy it!
2. Rachelle’s tips for race day are:
“Be kind to yourself. You can’t always control the way you feel physically but you can always control your thoughts. Racing is mostly mental so believe in yourself, trust your training and remember that the hardest things you accomplish in life are always the most worth it. The harder you work to achieve an outcome the more satisfaction you gain from it regardless of the time on the clock.”
“Act like a horse, be dumb, just run. Don’t waste energy overanalyzing… don’t think, just run.”
She also advised me with this piece of info in case I ever train for a marathon again by pool running for 5 weeks—> “If you train in water make sure to let the race director know beforehand so they have time to turn the course into a stream.” HAHA I love her.
3. Josse’s tips for race day:
“Learn what works for you and stick with it. Practice what you are going to do and don’t do new things race morning. Don’t stress too much about the things you can’t control like the weather. Eat even if you don’t feel like it. Most importantly, have fun or it is not worth it.”
4. Rebecca’s words of wisdom (her husband on the bike and her daughter running next to her:):
“No matter the outcome of your race, put a smile on your face for the homestretch. It makes the finish a whole lot sweeter. Added bonus: your pictures turn out much better. (PS this takes practice! Practice smiling at the end of your hard workouts. Even raise your arms!)”
5. Candice!! Her race day tips:
“Have fun! It may still be hard and there will be moments when you want to quit or wonder why you are racing, but if you can’t look back and find the fun, then what’s the point? For me, all of the races that have been the most fun have ended up also being my best. And I’d rather have memories of having fun than memories I’d rather forget!”
6. Sara said:
“My biggest tip is to fuel yourself properly. If you are fueled properly before, during, and after then you can achieve your goals. Plus, you will avoid a lot of injuries and typical race day mishaps if you are fueling the right way. Figure out what works for you. Don’t just go off of how your friends fuel. I don’t go crazy with carb loading either. I would end up feeling heavy race day. My pre-race meal is two nights before, not the night before.
I always try to enjoy the experience and underestimate my time. This only works for me because I’m a really competitive person. I set it lower than normal so that I can always be happy afterwards! Weird but it is what works for me. Foam rolling, compression socks/sleeves and Doterra deep blue are my secret weapons. Eating clean is my biggest secret. I still love my sweets but they are usually homemade. I rarely reach for processed foods/treats.” In just two years she went from a 4:30 marathon to a 3:18 marathon time and one of the main things that she said made her faster—> the first time around she just ran but she got the faster times by including cross-training!
7. Heather’s tips:
“Fuel up! During the last three days before an endurance run such as a marathon, a runner’s carbohydrate intake should increase to 70-80% of his/her total daily caloric intake. Make sure you get complete carb storage, drink 4-8 glasses of water each day. You may gain a lb or 2 during this phase, but most of the extra weight is water and will actually help keep you well hydrated during the race. Plus, you’ll sweat out those extra lbs on the run. Practice eating before a race. This can be a tricky thing. Test different foods for your carb-loading phase well before race day. Pick one of your longest training runs and pretend it is ‘race day.’ Try a mini-carb-loading phase before this run. This will give you the opportunity to see how long different foods take to pass and which ones to avoid because they ‘hang around’ too long.
Get your zzz’s! Try to get 8 hours of sleep! Research shows that if you get 8-10 hours of sleep on a regular basis, then not sleeping the night before the race most likely won’t have any adverse effects on race day! I have found racing marathons and triathlons while having 3 little kids, I don’t always get the right amount of sleep that I should training 10-15 hours a week for endurance events. However, if I get the most rest 2 nights before the race, that usually seems to do the trick for me. I let my husband know he is ‘on duty’ all night and I get to sleep. It’s helped me a lot in my training!
Have a mantra. When ‘the wall’ hits you at your next race, having a mantra can help pull you through a tough stretch. Spend a little time before race day thinking of a few motivating mantras. Some good mantras include: What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger! I’ve got the eye of the tiger. Can’t stop, won’t stop! One step at a time. Not everyone can do this, but I can! Dig deep, breathe deep!
Enjoy the taper! Avoid replacing the runs with lots of cross-training. The taper is designed to allow your body to recuperate, rebuild and be fresh on race day. I just try to have fun with my family and kids and do things that I normally don’t have time for that won’t require me to be on my feet too much.”
8. And my California running buddy Pam said:
“Always mentally prepare yourself pre-race that you may have to stray from your ‘plan.’ Don’t underestimate the marathon & the physical toll it takes on your body and mind. Practice, practice, practice fueling during training. Be very realistic of your goals & know what you’re capable of. Trust in your training!!!!”
WHAT ARE YOUR RACE DAY TIPS!?!
What is your next race? What is your goal for the race?
Lessons that you learned during your last race?
How many miles are you planning on running this week!?