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Preparing For Race Day

Let me say, personally, preparing for each race is different for me. I don't think I've ever prepared for 2 races in the exact same way.

Some races I run for fun (meaning no timed goal, no goal other than just to enjoy running a race with others) Some races I run for time (I have a time in my head that I want to beat, and I want to beat it bad). Some races I run for the distance (I just want to complete the course. Please just let me finish). Some races I want it all (The distance, the time, the entire race has a goal of some kind)

So, of course depending on how I approach the race determines my race day preparation (and the week of).

Fun Run 
This requires less preparation than the others. But with any 'event' there is always some preparation. And because I am who I am, I do as much of my preparation in advance as possible.

  • I always try to pick up my packet the day before if I can. 
  • I start stalking the weather a few weeks out. Of course as the event approaches I start deciding and laying out what I will wear. I always lay out all of my gear the night before (yes, even if it's a home local event). I just mentally have to get everything all laid out the night before. 
  • I plan what I will have for breakfast. 
  • I cut out as much dairy as possible that week since it causes stomach issues for me. 
  • I also try to make sure that my meal the night before isn't something that will upset my stomach. 
  • I figure out the driving logistics of when and where I need to be. 
  • I try to get to bed at a decent time
  • I pray that I poop that morning. Poop seems to be the biggest stresser for me. Yes, I just put that out there. Seriously, race day just seems to change everything about how my body wants to behave. So usually, I try to give myself as much time as possible to poop before I leave the house. Sometimes it happens - sometimes it doesn't. 
Timed Goal 
  • I do all of the above but I usually visualize the race. I'll see myself hitting my timed goals. I'll visualize the finish. I don't know if it helps or not, but it's something that I do. 
  • I'm also a little more careful about my nutrition - making sure that I'm getting adequate carbs the week of the race. 
  • I try to make sure that I get a little more rest a few days before the upcoming race. 
  • And I try to keep my nerves in check and try to force myself to slow down and not start the race too fast. 
Distance Goal
  • All of the above plus adequate taper, but not too much. There is a fine line with that, and I think it's different for everyone. 
  • Try to stay well. I tend to always get sick before big events, so staying well is one of my priorities along with adequate rest (which I mentioned above
The Big One 
  • All of the above plus stay calm! I get pre-race jitters - and bad if I put a lot of pressure on myself. So when it comes to the very big race for me I do all of the previous mentioned things along with reminding myself to have fun
That's right, regardless of the goal (or lack of goal), it should be fun. If it isn't fun, why do it? 

So, do you race? What do you do to prepare for race day? 
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