Summer breakfast bowl:
It’s just too hot outside for warm oatmeal!
My bowl contained:
- 1 Chobani pomegranate
- 1/2 cup raw oatmeal
- 1 banana
The other day on Twitter, I was asked how to prepare for a race – what to lay out to wear, how to plan, and what to do in the worst-case scenarios.
Get ready to get your game faces on!
THE WEEK OF THE EVENT:
- Follow the taper on your training plan. What’s a taper? A taper is a reduced mileage/rest period immediately before a race to prepare your muscles for the event. It helps to run (or bike) on “fresh legs” – you’ll notice a HUGE difference between the way you feel on a mid-training long run and the way you feel on race day if you follow the taper.
- The taper length varies according to your race distance. A 5K might only require a 2 day rest period, a 15K or Half Marathon might require 3 days, and the typical taper for a Marathon is two weeks. Personally, after 26 races, I have found that I perform better when my taper period is not that relaxing/long – for example, two weeks was about one week to long to taper before my marathon. Everyone works differently, but if its your first time doing the distance, follow the taper on your training plan.
- HYDRATE, GET ENOUGH SLEEP, and EAT CLEANLY. Treat your body especially well in the week leading up to the event. You’ll notice the different on race morning. NO ALCOHOL!
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT:
- If it’s an endurance event (i.e. a Half Marathon or longer), you’ll probably want to begin eating a few hundred extra calories each day to max out your glycogen stores in your body. Carbs are your friend!
- Browse the event website to determine when packet pick-up is held. At packet pick-up, you’ll get your t-shirt , bib number, and timing chip. You can usually pick up your information several days before the event OR race morning, but some larger events do NOT have day-of pick-up, so be sure to check! Bring ID!
- Check and see if your race has an expo! Expos are really fun and a great way to pick up fun running gear for cheap.
- Lastly, browse the race website to learn valuable information about: course rules, course map, parking, and the number of aid stations. Based on the number of aid station they plan to have available, you might want to bring your own water to the event.
THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT:
- If you’ve never been to the race start before, or you aren’t sure where it is, do a test drive to the location. In the very least, print out directions and double-check your directions with the information on the race website. The WORST thing come race morning is not knowing where you are going.
- Check the weather. You’ll want to know if it’s going to be cold, extra hot, rainy, or windy when planning your race day outfit.
- Put together a fun playlist to listen to during the race. Make it a little longer than you anticipate your race to be, and add a fun “get pumped up” song to listen to at the start. I especially love to listen to the Boondock Saints theme song at the starting line!
- Lay out your outfit the night before. Pin your bib number to your shirt and tie your chip to your shoe, if you have them already. Put sunscreen on top of your outfit so you don’t forget to apply it. Also lay out any gear or fuel you’re bringing to the race so you don’t forget them.
- Especially for longer events or events in hot weather, it’s nice to have a change of clothes for the ride home. Pack an extra shirt! While you’re at it, throw in a snack for the drive back.
- Charge your iPod, watch, and any other electronic devices. Enough said!
- Eat a filling, but stabilizing dinner. Don’t eat anything new or you’ll be running the Chickpea Masala 10K – it’s not a fun race to run… trust me!!! Don’t overstuff yourself.
- Plan your breakfast for the next day. It’s important to not eat anything new the day of a race – eat whatever you’ve been eating throughout training! My favorite breakfast is a peanut butter bagel with a banana.
- Decide what time you need to wake up and when you need to leave. Give yourself time for packet pick-up if you’re doing it race morning, and remember you’ll need to walk back to your car to drop off your free shirt. Also build in time for traffic and getting lost.
- REMEMBER THE #1 RULE OF RACING: Don’t do ANYTHING new on race day. Don’t eat something new, don’t wear something new, don’t change your routine at all. Trust me! It rarely ends well!
- If you’re nervous, spend some time envisioning a fun, positive race with a good, strong finish. It really helps to meditate on things going well.
- Stretch before bed, and get in bed at a decent time! If you have trouble going to sleep, try counting back by 300’s by 3’s. It works everytime! 🙂
THE DAY OF THE EVENT:
- Wake up, get dressed, and eat your normal breakfast. Go to the bathroom (this is crucial)! And yes, I mean #2.
- HAVE FUN!
Do you get nervous or just excited before a big race? How do you get your game face on and mentally prepare? I love visualizations – it helps me anticipate what the event will be like and puts me in a positive mindset.
**Envisioning a strong 100-mile ride on Sunday!**
When I was doing loads of dressage competitions, I’d psyche myself up before hand – I’d picture myself doing the best test ever, winning it, amazing everybody! It’s all about positive thinking I reckon 🙂 Always works!
(PS – I got a ticket to the HLS!! I am SO excited!)