Well it’s finally here, Race Day. Here you are on the start line, covered in war paint and looking dangerous. Are you ready to go? Let’s re-wind 24 hours and look at the build up to your race, to find out how you can get the most out of that essential preparation time.
The day before
Ease your nerves by organising your race kit. The things you are most likely to need include:
- A bottle of water
- Clean (and warm, if you are racing in winter) clothes for after the race
- A towel
- A tasty snack for after the race
- Your race pack. If you’ve already received your pack in the post, fill in the back of your race number card with emergency contact details (just in case) and tie your timing chip into your trainers. If you don’t yet have your pack, remember to make sure you leave plenty of time if you’re collecting it on the day!
Aim to have balanced lunch and evening meals containing high quality, wholemeal or brown carbohydrates, colourful vegetables and protein. If your race is over a longer distance (and you are competing instead of completing) you might want to carb-load. However, this is not necessary for races between 5-10km.
Do some light exercise
You will want to keep this to a minimum so you are fully charged for your race. However, you may want to do a mini session of stretching or mobility work, possibly using a foam roller.
The night before
- Get your beauty sleep. Staying up late with your mates in the hotel bar may seem like a good idea at the time, but come morning you will feel very differently.
- If you start to feel nerves kicking in remind yourself how prepared you are. Your race kit is ready (if it’s not, do it now!), your post-race kit is ready and you have spent the last few months training to be brilliant.
The morning of The Race
- Eat breakfast. Don’t try anything new or flashy; eat the same as you have been eating over the last few months. You don’t want any nasty surprises half way through.
- Leave enough time to get to the race. This is very important – you don’t want to miss your start.
- Take a comfort break before the race so you are not caught short on the course.
- Get that war paint on...
- Be Awesome!
About the author
Jacob Salt-Berrymen is a philosophy graduate, personal trainer, regular triathlete and enthusiastic obstacle racer. As a Fitness Tutor for YMCAfit - the UK's leading activity for health charity - Jacob specialises in outdoor fitness, suspension training, and anatomy and physiology. You can read more from Jacob in his Central YMCA Guide Run, Jump, Climb and Crawl.