Getting in your miles and taking your training serious is a crucial part of success on race day, but there are a few things you do leading into race day that can either help or hurt your performance. The last thing anyone would want to do is ruin 12-18 weeks of training with a bad decision the week or night before your race. So lets go over some of the basic things that you need to keep in mind heading into race day.
Plan your food intake for race day way before. If you will be using chews or drinks other than water on the course you better know how your body reacts to them. Some people’s body just can’t handle certain drinks or chews as well as others. If you know your race is giving out Muscle Milk gels then try them out on some longs runs before your race. If you always drink Gatorade before and during runs, but the race provides Sword go buy some Sword. The last thing you need is a surprise on mile 4 of a 13 or 26 mile race. Work out a routine of hydration and energy that you will use on race day. In general you should be shooting for 24-48 ounces of water and 30-60 grams of carbs per hour to keep your legs moving.
Even the week or two leading into the race are important for your diet. Your body is going to be going through one of the hardest things you have ever done to it. Give it good wholesome nutritional food. Yes, I know you are told to carb up before your race, but that isn’t meaning go eat 10 slices of pizza. Eat some pasta, do some sweet potatoes and things like that. Healthy carbs are helpful, bad carbs will weigh you down.
On race day you have to give your body nutrition before the race. Ideally, you should have your pre-race meal at least 2 hours before the start of your race. That’s no fun for a 7am start, but you will thank yourself. Stopping for a port-O-potty break isn’t going to help your time and we all know running can certainly get the bowels moving. So do yourself a favor and eat early so the food has time to move through your system. It’s important, if you aren’t sure why just google embarrassing running photos. You will figure out what I am talking about.
30 minutes before the race top off your energy stores with some carbs. Eat some gels or do a sports drink. Whatever you have already tried in the past. Nothing new at this point. Bring some extra shoe strings in your bag, because things break when you least expect it and try to stay calm and enjoy the environment. You worked hard to get where you are so just set back enjoying the fact that you did it. It’s race day and all that training is about to pay off. Relax and get ready to go run.