Whether you are running your 1st race or your 50th, there are always new tips you can learn to make your race day more successful. Keep reading to learn new ways to make race day more enjoyable, and get the best results you can.
Trust Your Training
Let nerves take over when waiting for the starting gun to go off is easy. This is the time to look back at all the training that has gone into your race preparation, and trust all the hard work you’ve put in. Don’t let your pre-race nerves sabotage all your hard work.
Run Your Race
When the starting gun goes off and the huge crowd starts moving forward, it is very easy to get caught up in the moment. Getting caught up in the rush of it all and going out way faster than you trained for is a very common mistake, especially for newer runners. This is when trusting your training really comes into play.
Ignore the other runners who are going either faster or slower, and work on getting your starting pace as close to your “race pace” as possible. Getting your pace locked in right away is a great way to ensure your race doesn’t go off the rails right from the start.
Don’t Try New Things on Race Day
Whether it is a new pre-race meal, a new article of clothing, or food at an aid station that you’ve never eaten on a run before, trying new things on race day can be disastrous. Eating something that you aren’t familiar with can have devastating effects on your race, and can cause all of your hard work in training to be for nothing. If you plan on using whatever nutrition is provided by the race instead of your own, do some research beforehand about what will be provided, and try to use some on training runs. This way you know before race day if it will agree with your stomach or not.
Setting Goals (And Backup Goals)
Setting goals for a race is one of the most important aspects of racing, but setting more than one goal is a great way to ensure that you at least hit one goal, even if your race doesn’t go perfectly. Lots of runners have an A, B and C goal. The A goal is usually if everything goes perfectly, the C goal will be a time that reflects if things go badly but you still finish, and the B goal will be somewhere right in the middle.
Hydration isn’t something to stop worrying about during your taper. A big mistake that a lot of runners make is starting the race underhydrated. If you start from a point of underhydration, it isn’t feasible to expect 100% out of your body. Starting your race fully hydrated is a very important aspect of having running your best race.
A positive mindset can have a massive impact on your race, so even if everything doesn’t go exactly how you planned it before the race starts, stay positive! If you let your negative thoughts take over, you can sabotage your race before it even begins.
Enjoy Your Race!
Don’t forget to enjoy your race!! Some people let their nerves get the best of them, and they don’t really enjoy their first couple of races because they are so nervous. Running a race with hundreds or thousands of other people is an incredible experience, so make sure you take in the entire race day atmosphere.