As race day nears, many thoughts go through a runner’s mind. But don’t worry, race day (or week) jitters are normal! In the week leading up to a race it’s best to stick to your plan, and trust your training. Don’t worry about what the latest research article, or your training partner, recommends. You’ve been training for months now and it’s best to follow what you’ve practiced and stick to what you know.
Here are some tips to help you stay on track for race day:
1.) Stick to the plan – be confident in your training, make sure you do not feel hungry at any point during race week. Keep fueling your body with familiar foods for the effort it will put out on race day.
2.) Stay hydrated – keep fluid intake up, but be careful not to over drink. If you notice you’re using the bathroom more than usual, or if your urine is clear, then you are drinking too much plain water. Drinking too much plain water can flush critical nutrients away from your body, adding electrolytes (sodium) to your water will help pull water to your cells, helping you hydrate efficiently.
3.) Avoid indulgence – avoid the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating this close to a race. Save the tasty desserts and beer for the finish.
4.) Practice your plan – pick a longer training day once the date nears, and do everything you would do during the race for that training session. Wear the same gear, wake up the same time, and eat the same things. Practice makes perfect.
5.) Stay focused – there’s no point in getting nervous about the race, or trying to figure out whether or not you trained enough. Focus on the things you can control, like hydration and fueling.
6.) Get enough rest – sleep is important, not necessarily the day before the race; but make sure you get enough rest the days leading up to the race.