A Few Tips Before You Run Your First Big Race
Practice during your long rung, simulate the race as much as possible.
Wear the outfit you plan on racing in so you can see if it causes chafing. Don’t wear the race shirt you get at the Expo unless you know the fit and know it won’t bother you.
Try out your new shoes and socks, believe it or not, socks can make a HUGE difference!
Wear a hat, scarf, visor? give them a try! You need to know if it fits too loose or tight. Don’t buy anything new at the Expo and expect it perform the way you want it to.
Use a fuel belt or hydration pack?? Better use it on your long run to make sure you like it. The marathon is not a place to try out a new one, especially a fuel belt. It could rub and cause chafing or worse, blisters on your back.
If running a marathon or anything longer than an hour, YOU MUST FUEL every 45 minutes, I prefer Huma Chia Energy Gels. You need to know which ones work for you and which ones cause tummy trouble. Don’t forget to practice running and eating since you will not want to stop during your race. Chase your Gels with water too.
Don’t forget your keys! If you have to drive yourself to the race, are you going to run with your keys? Better practice running with them.
Sunscreen, chapstick, etc. Try out new products before the race to make sure you aren’t sensitive to them.
Make sure your Garmin is charged the night before a race, the last thing you want is a dead Garmin during your run.
Fuel with extra carbs 48 hours before the race. It isn’t necessary to carb load the night before. In fact, you don’t want to run a race with a belly full of pasta from the night before. Practice eating different meals before your long run and see which ones sit right with you. Don’t go out for a special dinner and try something new. By adding in just one serving of carbs the day before your race, is adequate enough to “carb load.”
Hydrate well the entire week before the race, but especially the 24 hours before. Make sure you get all your water in! Nuun hydration tablets are my favorite. I use them before, during and after a long run or race especially when running in higher than 55 degrees.
Get at least 8 hours sleep every night the week before the marathon. You want to make sure you are giving your body time to rest and recover from your hard training. Plus your immune system is low due to all the endurance training, so sleep helps you fight off those pending colds. Don’t worry about the night before the race, you will be lucky to get any sleep at all due to excitement!
Remember take time to enjoy the race. Believe it or not, it will be over before you know it and nothing but a memory! Let the experience really sink in and realize what you are accomplishing. Smile and wave at the camera, give the thumps up to those cheering you on. High Five fellow runners and let them know they are doing great and encourage each other!
Pack your favorite post race meal and eat it as soon as can. It is so important to get some carbs and protein in your body within 1 hour of completing your race. You need to replace the carbs you just depleted and the protein will help heal those overused muscles. Fuel, and you will recover faster. I like to drink coconut water to help recover faster its high in potassium and has natural electrolytes. Also Cherry Juice it great to aide in recovery. Lots of water with Nuun tablets too.
Congratulation on finishing your race and accomplishing your goal! Finish lines are goals with a deadline!