If you’re new to running races, you need to know the #1 rule of race day. But you also might want to get familiar with a few other race day rules.
1. The number one race day rule forever and ever—never do anything new on race day.
Don’t buy shiny new shoes, unless you want your kicks potentially full of blood from fresh blisters. Gross, but true. Don’t get all new clothes you haven’t “test run”. Don’t try new fuel, sunblock or anything else that might mess up your day. By the end of training you know what works for your body. Just do that!
2. Plan out logistics before the race.
How are you going to get to the race? What is the parking situation? Where will you tuck your key, ID or other belongings? Will your family and friends be there? Plan where to meet them. Make race day easy breezy for yourself by planning all this out before race day.
3. Don’t look down in the porta potty. Sorry. You’ve been warned.
Be prepared for some race day yuckiness in terms of sights and smells and sounds. It’s part of the adventure!
4. Run smart.
Know what you’re getting yourself into. Check the weather and the course ahead of time and train accordingly. Make a plan on how you’re going to conquer the miles, the hills, the rain, the sun—anything the day throws at you. Have your music ready, but don’t have it up too high so you can hear people around you. Run smart and have fun.
5. Make goals and a plan for how you’re approaching the race.
If your goal is to PR, then you should be very well trained, well fueled, have your mental game ready and more. That would be your ‘A goal’. If you aren’t ready for a PR but still want to PR the course, get a sub-2 hour marathon or some other personal challenge. Know what pace you need to hit, know your fitness level and pace yourself appropriately.
Your goals should be personal, based on YOU and your fitness, training and body. Have a race day strategy to get to that finish line with a smile.
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