When we start heading into our taper just weeks before race day, things can quickly start to seem overwhelming. As the miles decrease, the nerves increase.
There are a few things to remember the week of the race:
— Do not try any new foods that may cause GI distress
— Fuel your body with enough carbohydrates to increase your glycogen stores for energy on race day
— Relax and get quality sleep
— Lay out your clothes to make race morning less stressful
While the buildup to race day can seem daunting, I always am sure to make a list of things that I must have come race day. Especially if the race involves travel, sticking to the list will help make sure you are not frantically looking for something on race morning. The night before the race, I like to lay out my clothes and go through my checklist head-to-toe.
— Tank top/Long Sleeves
— Race bib
— Timing chip
When race day arrives, I always listen to the same songs: “Ready to run” by Dixie Chicks, “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen, “Running on the beach” by Danny Morgan, and “Don’t stop believin'” by Journey. I also am sure to arrive early and stretch. I also try to avoid new shoes or have new pre-race food.
Inevitably, no matter how much I prepared and watch the weather, I still awoke to rain on race day. Although this put a damper on my start, in more than one way, I simply trusted my training and stuck with my race day motto: “Run your own race and do it with a smile.” The moment you cannot smile, you are not doing something right.
For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.