It’s Race Week! Tips from the Ambassadors
You may have registered at the 2017 race expo, or you may have registered ten minutes ago: regardless, without hesitation – and with a whole bunch of excitement! – we can finally say that IT’S FINALLY RACE WEEK for THE BIOFREEZE SAN FRANCISCO MARATHON, half, 5k, and ultra!
People handle race week pretty differently, much like how people handle stress, in general, pretty differently. Some folks find this last week of taper to be energizing and relaxing, and others feel stressed beyond belief and begin (or continue!) to question their life’s choices leading up to The Big Dance on Sunday morning.
To help keep your wits about you, the other 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon ambassadors and I have put our heads together to give you some unsolicited advice to help make your race week as low-key and low-stress as possible. Ultimately, our goal is to help you arrive to Sunday’s starting line – whichever starting line you’re tackling – relaxed and ready to rock and roll with a smile on your face.
Some tips to help you rock your 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon race week:
Adjust your sleep and wake clock all week long.
Ambassador Scott Benbow explains that he alters his wake-up and sleep routine all week long to adjust for TSFM’s super early race start. Says Scott: “My morning routine changes incrementally during the week before the SF Marathon. Because the race starts at 5:30 AM, I get out of bed at 5:00 AM on Monday, and then subtract 15 minutes from that time each day. By the end of the week, I’m going to bed early (out of necessity) and waking up at 3:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday. That gives me enough time to eat a big breakfast and get to the starting line ahead of schedule.” Look for Scott racing the full!
Do a couple early runs race week.
Ambassador David Lam concurs with Scott about adjusting your body all week to accommodate for Race Day’s early start time. “Get one or two shakeout runs at 5:00-5:30 a.m. this week. It’ll help ease the body into that start time instead of shocking it on race day by telling it to start early AND run 26.2 miles,” David adds. Look for David running the full on Sunday!
Do a “flat runner” before bedtime.
If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen countless “flat runner” pictures posted the night before a race. As it turns out, going through this process may actually help you ensure that you’re ready to roll on race morning with minimal stress. Ambassador Amalia Miller explains, “As a triathlete, cyclist, and runner, I have different ways of laying out my gear so everything is ready when I wake up bright and early for a race. I’m more of a night owl than an early bird, so every bit of prior night prep is key!” Amalia will be running the full; keep an eye out for her!
Leave nothing to chance race morning, including food, post-race clothes, and charged headphones.
Ambassador Loree Rose agrees with Amalia about laying out race attire before bed. In addition, she says, “I usually lay out my clothes the night before, pack my bags for my change of clothes and make sure I lay out what I’m gonna eat and hydrate with before the race on my kitchen table! I wear my compression socks and tape up the night before because those socks are hard to get on from time to time. Most importantly, charge my headphones to make sure it’s on full charge.” Loree will be running the second half on Sunday morning!
Aim for some solid ZZZs on Friday night.
Pre-race nerves may hit you hard on Saturday night, leaving it pretty tough to get a good night’s rest. No matter, says ambassador Charles Lim. “Try to get as much sleep on Friday, because you might not get as much on Saturday,” he explains. Charles will be running the full this year!
Start thinking of what’s next, simply to assuage your nerves.
Scott Benbow reminds us that just because our TSFM journey will be coming to an end on race day doesn’t matter our running and training needs to stop. “Because runners are tapering and have a lot of extra time on their hands this week, spend some time figuring out what their next big race will be. I’ve heard of, but never experienced, post-race depression. With another trail or road race on the calendar, runners will have a great reason to recover quickly and get started on a new goal. The Berkeley Half is a great one to consider this autumn.”
Take some time to organize all your nitty-gritty expo and race day logistics.
It’ll behoove you to take some time this week to nail down all your logistics for the expo and race day. How are you getting from Point A to Point B? Do you need to buy BART tickets? Maybe you should consider reserving a parking spot? Will your hotel let you check out late? Do you think you may want a beer after your race? If so, be sure to bring an ID to the expo so you can get your ID verified ahead of race day. Logistics aren’t always fun to pore through, but doing so can help you work out any kinks in your plan and thus make for a smoother expo experience and race day.
Remember: you WANT to do this!
My personal last piece of advice during race week, when you may be experiencing “taper crazies” and/or your nerves may be getting the best of you, is simple: remind yourself that you *want* to do this. Really! Unless your mortgage hinges on your race performance, race day should be all about fun, memories, and a positive experience. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture here; the mere ability to run is a gift and not something to be squandered or taken for granted. Even when you’re working hard mid-race, remember how lucky you are to a) be running at all and b) to be running and racing in the City by the Bay alongside thousands of your new best friends. (I’ll be doing the full; say hi!)
xo – The 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and RUN365 Social Media Ambassadors
Contributed by Erin Mink Garvey, a 2018 Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon.