By Olympian Jeff Galloway
There will be some “pre-race jitters” generated by your subconscious brain. By having a cognitive strategy you can maintain mental control and reduce the nervousness.
• Don't eat too much the night before: After 2pm, eat snacks that digest easily and don't have a lot of bulk.
• Pack your bag and check it twice. Use the checklists at the bottom of this page and include anything else that you need.
• Avoid alcohol the night before. Drink about 20-30 oz of electrolyte beverages the day before, and an additional 4-5 glasses of water, spread throughout the day.
• Fluid and potty stops. Arise early enough on race morning so that you have your 4-6 oz of water, as soon as you rise. You want to leave plenty of time to hit the bathroom before the start. Drinking too close to the start will mean more stops during the race.
• Put on your clothes with the race number pinned to the front of the shirt you plan to wear during the second half of the race. If you aren't sure whether you'll use one or two layers, put the number on the one next to your body, low on the front. Roll up the outside shirt so that the number is visible.
• Breakfast: Most runners don't need to eat. But if you want to/need to, eat the foods that you have used successfully before. Most of the runners I've worked with on this issue have eaten little or nothing.
• Get to the race venue early (2 hours before race time). Upon arrival, walk around the start, check your clothing, see how you will walk to the start. Choose a side of the road for taking walk breaks.
• Attach your chip as noted in your race instructions.
• Put on your ifitness or other supply belt. These belts can carry your blood sugar booster foods and water for emergency purposes.
• Make sure your timer is set for the run-walk-run ratio that you will be using. Timers can be ordered from www.RunInjuryFree.com will be some timers with vibration available at the Galloway table at the expo ($20)
• Start the race more slowly than you believe you can run.
• During the first half of the race, stick with your plan of pacing and walk breaks unless you want to go slower. Whatever you save in effort by going slower, you can use during the last 6 miles.
• At the finish, cross in the upright position, have a smile on your face and celebrate afterward.
• Remember to slow down by 30 sec a mile for every 5 degrees of temperature increase above 60F during the race.
PACKING LIST FOR RACE MORNING
• Your watch or timer, set for the appropriate run-walk-run ratio
• A pace chart or wrist band, with mile times toward your goal
• A spare pair of socks
• An extra long sleeve top, in case you are cool
• A garbage bag, in case of rain
• A hat, if you wear one (take it off if the temperature is above 60F)
• A post race drink, if desired
• A post race snack
iFITNESS BELT LIST
• Bandages and other first aid items
• Skin lubricant
• Blood sugar booster food
• $ for refreshments afterwards
• Medication for afterward (only if your doctor instructs)
• Note: taking anti inflammatory medication before or during the run is not recommended—check with your doctor.
• Keys (car, hotel, etc)