Race Day preparation
Here are Sported’s top 10 tips for preparing on Race Day
Don’t try anything new on race day
1. Race day preparation begins before race day
Preparation for Race day, especially a marathon, begins with all those long hours and long runs that you have done in your training plan. The important thing now is that all of that preparation does not go to waste. You will know what shoes, socks, vest, shorts and chafe free running underwear you are going to use. It is not recommended to go out and buy anything new in race week. You should have practiced in your race day kit several times before the race; it should be comfortable and familiar. Don’t be tempted to try the latest gimmick!
It is highly recommended to have a stress- free day the day before your big race. Try and avoid situations that will cause you stress or anxiety and make a point of leaving work early if you can, get home and relax and do all those little things to get race ready in good time. Relax, stay off your feet if you can, turn off the social media and prepare yourself mentally for the race. Visualise crossing the finishing line in your target time
2. Read the Race Pack
It sounds obvious but so many people do not read the race instructions, which for most races is either on line or printed out and in your race bag. It is your responsibility to know at what time the race starts. If something is not clear or you have a query email or call the event organisers. It is a good idea to read the race pack thoroughly and make sure that you are racing the right distance and in the correct category
3. Know the course
It is your responsibility to know the course so read the race pack carefully and know if it is one loop, two loops etc. Look at where the aid stations are and plan your nutrition strategy* accordingly.
4. Know where to park
Again, it sounds obvious but at some of the bigger races in Dubai there is just not enough parking at the race venue. For example, at the Creek Striders Half marathon, the overflow car paris the City Center Mall, a ten minute walk from the race village. Plan where you will park, give yourself plenty of time, and ensure you arrive stress free on race day. The last thing you want to be doing before your race is trying to find a car parking space. If in doubt take a taxi!
5. Race Pack Collection
Something we always recommend that you do before race day. Most big races offer a couple of prick up points and the bigger ones don’t allow collection on the day. Get your race bag well in time and make sure you have your timing chip and race bib and that they have your name on it and you are in the correct race and category. You are ready to go.
6. Those little things
They are called safety pins, a race belt, nipple plasters and whatever else you need for your race. Make sure you have either pinned your bib number to your vest or you are using a race belt. If it is a half or full marathon we highly recommend the use of Nipple Plasters and you can normally pick up some for free at the Runderwear tent.
7. The Night before
Lay everything out and tick it off against your race day checklist. That is another one of our tips. Ensure you have a race day checklist!. It may sound a bit nerdish but it’s a de-stresser, the pros have them and it will ensure that you don’t forget anything. Do your last stretching and rolling session- not too much but just enough. Get an early night. Eight hours of solid sleep will put you in a good place for your race. Don’t forget to set your alarm.
8. Race Day arrival
Having worked back from race start, warm up, arrival, parking and travel you will probably be up between 2 and 2 and a half hours before the big race. Remember the old adage; DON’T DO ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY. Arrive in plenty of time and keep calm and avoid stress. Eat your normal race day breakfast which would probably be some brown toast and honey about two hours before the race start, a banana about 45 mins before the race start and a gel** around 15 minutes before the off.
9. Warm up
Stay warm and warm up. For races in December and January in Dubai it can be cold and you will get cold just standing around. Make sure you keep warm in a track suit and undertake some dynamic stretches, stride outs and mobility exercises. Don’t do static stretches and don’t do anything you haven’t done before just because you saw somebody else doing it.
One last tip is that it is highly recommended to take an old T shirt you don’t mind losing to wear while you wait in the funnel for race start. Having dropped your bag at the Bag Drop or with your loving support crew, it can be quite cold while you wait for the race to begin. Sometimes races are delayed while the Authorities close the roads so keeping warm and conserving energy is a must.
11. Have a great race
You are well prepared.
*there is a separate blog on Nutrition