We all have our own pre-race routines. But whether you are running a 10km, 21.1km or full marathon, there are some things that you should do the day before a race to avoid making decisions that will cost you time or discomfort during your race.
Eat properly the day before
I don’t want to get into the low carb versus high carb pre-race eating habits, but it is recommended that you increase your carb intake in the days leading up to your race. You definitely should not overeat the day before the race, but rather eat amounts of food that you would normally eat,
Avoid unusual foods
Stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs. If you’re planning to eat dinner out, check the restaurant’s menu to make sure they serve foods that you’ve eaten before your long runs.
Drink a lot of water throughout the day. It’s may be helpful to also have one sports drink to ensure that you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect, and they’ll interfere with your sleep.
Rest your legs
Stay off your feet, rest, and relax. Spending too much time on your feet will tire you out. If you do need to walk around (when you go to the expo, for instance), make sure you’re wearing running shoes or other very comfortable shoes.
Go for a short run
A slow very short run the day before a race is great for those pre-race jitters, or just to stay loose. If you do run, keep your thoughts positive and keep telling yourself that you’re ready for your race. If you feel you perform better after rest, then just relax during those 24 hours leading up to the race.
Trim your toenails
Check your toenails and clip any that are too long. Keeping your toenails neat and short will prevent them from hitting the front of your shoes, which can lead to bloody, black toenails, or foot pain.
Get your kit ready
Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race the night before.
Essential items include:
- Race bib (number) and safety pins
- Race timing chip (if it’s not part of your race bib)
- Running outfit, hat, shoes, and socks
- Your race fuels, such as energy gels (whatever you’ve been training with)
- A product to prevent chafing, such as petroleum jelly
Use visualization techniques while you’re relaxing during the day. Envision yourself on the course. Think positively about all the work you’ve put into your training. It will be worth the effort to avoid pre-race anxiety.