Although I’ve not prepared for that many races in my time, I have enough experience to be able to know what I’m doing right and what I’ve done wrong. This gives me confidence knowing all my preparations are in place and I’m ready for the start gun.
This is my very own check list for, not only the day of the race but the week leading up to race day as well. You may do things slightly differently or you may not do any of these at all, but here is my list:
7 Days Prior
- Increase liquid intake. I try and drink at least 2 litres of liquid per day in the week prior to a race.
- Cut toenails – I make sure I cut my toenails at least a week before hand, therefore if I get anything wrong, they have 7 days to grow back.
- Go to bed an hour earlier for the next 7 days.
- Run for the last time in your race day running shoes.
3 Days Prior
- Wash your racing kit and make sure all items you intend to wear are clean.
2 Days Before
- I go for my last run, 3-4 miles, not too quick, but enough to make me feel good.
- Time to start carb loading – A recommended 7g of carbs per kilogram of body weight – From a Runnersworld nutritionist, not me.
The Day Before
- Make a list of all items to take to the race and pack them in your bag, include:
- Race number.
- Safety pins x4 (always best to pin to your top the night before as handling safety pins with pre race nerves is not ideal).
- Timing chip.
- Money (inc coins for car park if you are driving to a race).
- Mobile phone.
- Race information and directions.
- Running shoes.
- In-soles (if required).
- Running top.
- Hat – but I only take this if it’s a really cold day.
- Gels for the race.
- Spare dry socks.
- Spare dry top.
- Warm jumper/coat.
- Tracksuit bottoms.
- Spare Trainers.
- A black bin bag – to cover yourself while waiting for the start of the race if the weather is wet.
- Recovery protein bar.
- Recovery drink.
- Garmin Watch – Make sure fully charged.
- Jog for 10 minutes (before breakfast).
- Have a good breakfast at least 3 hours before the start of the race. I have puffed rice, banana and sometimes an energy bar. The most important thing for breakfast is not to try something new, stick with what you know and what you have practiced.
- Get dressed with your running gear and warm clothes.
- Try and stick to you race plan – there is always a tendency to run faster in the first part of the race and the chances are you will burn out way before the end. If the plan doesn’t happen, have a plan B.
- When you cross the finish line, try and smile and look your best, there is usually a photographer taking pictures and you might want to frame that photo.
- Enjoy the day and soak up the atmosphere.