It doesn’t matter if you’re lining up for your first race or your 100th, lessons can be learned during each experience. Part of the fun of race day can be “people watching” (A.K.A. runner watching) to observe the different tricks of the trade runners use to ensure a good race.

Here are some of our favorite lessons only a race could teach us:

  • Don’t wear brand new shoes for race day! Make sure you give yourself at least 3 weeks to break a pair of shoes in before lacing them up for the start line.
  • Use the same hydration/nutrition during training that will be available on race day (especially for those sensitive tummies!). If you’ve trained using a specific brand of sports drink and the race serves another brand, you risk an upset belly during the race. Most races supply hydration/nutrition brand information in the information section of their race website.
  • Keep an extra hair elastic on your wrist. Things break. Don’t let a broken hair tie ruin your race day. Carry a spare and you’ll always be prepared.
Carry extra ponytail holders!
  • When it comes to your race day outfit, stick with old faithful (same rule applies for socks!). Sure, buying new clothes at the race expo is always fun. Resist the urge to wear your new outfit for race day (unless you’ve worn the same exact piece before), and you’ll avoid unforeseen blisters or chafing. While it usually isn’t problem, why risk it and chance a bad race?
  • Use the restroom before the start! Yes, we’re going there. The impact of running jars your digestive system, which helps move things along. Save yourself discomfort and do your best to get things moving before you line up to start.
Only girlfriends will tell you the real truth!
  • Fully charge electronics you rely on. There’s nothing worse than getting to the start line and hearing the low battery warning beep through your headphones. Charge your electronics the night before!
This sums up our race day theory!

This list could go on and on forever, but we want your help. Tell us, what lessons have you learned at a race?