I’m racing this weekend! Here are a few of my pre-race prep tips

I am 5 days out from my 4th half marathon, and 7th race of the year – Women’s Running Series Scottsdale. I’m excited (especially because I get to be an honorary Cookie for the weekend) and completely amazed, but am now faced with remembering all the important things I’ve shared with everyone else of how to prepare for race day during that final week.

As a reminder, I’m not a personal trainer, doctor, nurse, dietician, or really anyone with any kind of training that could be scientifically useful. I am simply a woman who’s run 7 half marathons, and found some things that work really well for me. Take my advice with a grain of salt, literally, salt is a good start for prepping this week.

Some of these tips & pics first appeared on Instagram, where I share tips, recipes, and my random life. Go follow me!

Tip #1 Know where you’re going

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Image from fin6.com

I mean this both literally, make sure you know where you need to be, etc., but also, if you’re traveling to a race, like I am this weekend, make sure you know where the start line is, what the weather will be like, and what the course looks like and where water stops are along the route (unless you’re planning to carry your own hydration). Plan for a couple of weather circumstances, just in case, especially if you’re racing in between seasons, when the weather could be one extreme or the other.

Tip #2 Hydrate

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Hydration can come in many forms. Drinking water, electrolyte drinks, or juices (just watch your sugar intake) are all good ways to take liquids in, but most fruits and veggies are also a fantastic way to add water to your body. Grapes are a favorite of mine, because they also give you a good crunchy & sweet snack.

Tip #3 Be extra kind to your body

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Your feet, legs, and back need some extra TLC the week leading up to a race. Foam roll, use tennis or golf balls (or Rubz, my favorite) on your feet, ice or Epsom soaks to reduce any remaining inflammation, and wearing extra support in your work shoes (or just wearing a good pair of non-running sneakers if you can) can help give your body a little extra love.

Tip #4 Fuel your body right

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After training and eating well for months, the last thing you want me to tell you is that giving up your healthy foods is a bad idea. Your body has been training, so if you’ve eaten healthy leading up to long runs, or shorter prep races, it can handle healthy foods. If there are items that trouble you, cut them out (dairy, wheat and really high fiber foods are often culprits), but don’t start eating junk. Junk in, junk out. I’m a fan of lots of smoothies during taper week, because you can get lots of fruits & veggies, while maintaining a healthy balance of carbs, fats, and protein.

Tip #5 Sleep. It does the body good
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do during race week. Often the night before the race is filled with anxiety, and sleep might be minimal, but if you’re well rested leading up to it, losing a few hours race eve won’t kill you.

Tip #6 Don’t go nuts on pasta the night before

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Image from catsparella.com

Carbs are good. The biggest pasta dinner of your life at 9 PM the night before a 7 am race is bad. Well unless you like vomiting, or feeling like you ate a lead brick. Be smart. Up your carb intake starting a few days out, and eat early-ish the night before a race.

Tip #7 Test your race plan

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Even if its just a few miles, test your race gear. Don’t wear something for the first time for a race. Have a tested fuel plan, including water or Gatorade (or whatever will be on the course) for your race. If you didn’t train with Gatorade, I highly suggest not using it during the race. The high sugar content has been known to cause GI issues, instead stick to water and gels, blocks, beans, bars, or whatever works for you.

Tip #8 Know your running persona
I’m a music runner unless I’m running with Karen, the we talk a lot when we run. I need up tempo music, and it should make me want to sing or dance. Some people just like their favorite tunes, whether slow or fast, podcasts, or audio books, others prefer to just enjoy the race around them. But know what you like, and plan for it. Make a new playlist, or download a new mix (I’m currently loving RockMyRun and the different mixes to power me through), and make sure your phone is charged!

So there you have it. My 8 tips (in honor of this being my 8th half marathon) for getting prepared during race week.

What’s a tip you would give to fellow runners?
Are you racing this weekend? What, where, when?
What’s your running persona?

10 thoughts on “I’m racing this weekend! Here are a few of my pre-race prep tips

  1. Great tips! I will need you to hold me back from the pasta at DIsney 😉 I may break rule #6!
    I need to remember to be kind to my body leading up to a race, I usually wear myself out and get nervous the night before that I didn’t rest enough. I’m going to make sure next week I take it nice and easy, esp. since we are traveling to the race and that takes a toll on your body as well.

    I’m so excited for you and Nicole!! woo hoo 🙂 🙂

    Karen @karenlovestorun

    • I can definitely help you not break #6!

      And yes, you need to try to get more sleep every night this week before you head to Disney. Your body will thank you 🙂

  2. Great tips. I used to obsess about getting enough sleep the night before a race, but then when I started to travel for races, I found out that there was absolutely no way much sleep was happening that night ha, but then I end up being perfectly fine because of all the sleep I get the previous nights! I live in AZ and I’m also running the half this week! It will be my first one 🙂 As far as my running persona, I usually don’t run with music, but I’m kinda excited to hear that that where be music out there this weekend on the course. Maybe it’ll give me a little boost ha. Have fun out there this weekend!

    • Ooh I’m so excited for you! The first one is always amazing 🙂

      I’ll post pics of my final decision for my race day gear and maybe we can meet up for a picture!

  3. Awesome tips, thank you for sharing. I’ll be racing my first 10k on Sunday and I’ll be running with music. I need the upbeat tempo to keep things moving when i don’t want to. The best race tip I have to share is double tie your shoes and try to enjoy every minute of the race.

    • Good luck at your race! Do you have a playlist set up or just shuffling through?

      And great tips on the shoes! Definitely don’t want to trip or have to stop and tie them 😊

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