A blog by runners. For runners.

Pre-Race Day and Race Day Tips

I thought it would be fun to create a list of pre-race day and race day tips from my own racing experience. I have four tips for pre-race day, and race day. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in a comment below!

Pre-Race Day Tips

  1. Pack your bag the night before, plan for all weather
  2. I can't stress how important it is to pack everything before the morning of your race. This includes having all your clothes washed and even another outfit in case you change your mind about the weather in the morning. One time before a half marathon, I thought it would be warmer in the morning than it was, and my favorite jacket wasn't clean. Plan for all weather types!

  3. Pack your shoes and race bib, and outfit in your carry-on if flying
  4. When I ran track and cross country in college, one of the biggest items the coaches stressed about flying to races was carrying your race gear in your carry on. Suitcases and luggage get lost all the time. You don't want to have to miss your race because your suitcase was lost.

  5. Make sure your Garmin and/or iPod is charged and ready in your bag
  6. If you use a Garmin, make sure it's fully charged for your race! If you run with an iPod to get you through the rough patches of a race, make sure it's charged as well. At the starting line of my first half marathon, I went to turn on my iPod and it was dead. I was stuck holding it the whole time and didn't get to listen to any music. This was tough, as I trained with music and had to make it through my first half marathon with none.

  7. Drink plenty of water
  8. You don't want to be dehydrated for race day. Be sure you drink enough water!

Race Day Tips

  1. Remember your training
  2. It's easy to get super nervous before a big race. It helps me to think back on my training and remember all the miles I've put in. You know you're trained for the race based on your training.

  3. Be early
  4. Being early to the race is important. There may be long lines at bag check, or the bathrooms. If you get nervous easily like me, chances are you may have to go to the bathroom more than once.

  5. Don't run too fast at the start
  6. Why would you run way faster than your training pace for the start of the race? Chances are you won't be able to keep the pace. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and thrill of the race and the cheers from spectators. During my first marathon, my first mile was an 8:19. I run a 10:30-11:30 pace per mile! It's clear after the first half of the race who went too fast. If you keep your own pace, you'll be able to maintain it the whole race.

  7. Have fun!
  8. Enjoy your race and take in the excitement. Laugh at the spectator signs, smile for the race photographers. Take lots of photos at the finish to remember your race.

Have your own pre-race day or race day tip? Don't forget to share it in a comment below!