What should I eat (wear, do, etc.) on race day?

Training. We are training our bodies by stressing them a little bit more each week, then resting to let the body adapt to that work.  Then repeat.  We train our minds to handle the rigors of more miles and to get out of bed to get in our last snowy run of the season, because we need to be strong minded to reach our goal.  We’ve also trained our spouses, children, and coworkers to get used to seeing us head out the door in running clothes or show up to a meeting with a recovery drink instead of coffee.  All of this work IS training, but we are also practicing. Basketball teams practice inbound plays, soccer teams “set plays,” track relays handoffs over and over again until the simple action becomes part of their muscle memory, almost as unconscious as breathing (almost).

We don’t often call it practice, but that’s what it is.  Running events can be overwhelming.  Not only do we have to cover a long distance by our own power, but we have nutrition, hydration, clothing choices, parking, figuring out how to drink while running and not wear orange Gatorade down your shirt to think about.  Runners worry about EVERYTHING.  There’s even a name for checking the weather on race day, weather stalking, and it starts 10 days out from race day!  It’s easy to say don’t worry about it, but nearly impossible to take that advice.  So, let’s take control of that which we can: pre-run routine, hydration, nutrition (both before and during), proper drinking while running and let go of what we cannot.  PRACTICE all of it before race day.  Start now.

I’ve covered what to eat and what to wear many times.  You can read those here. The bottom line is that the old running coach mantra on race day is true, you should do nothing new on race day. The only way for it to feel normal is to practice it.  Set out your clothes the night before a long run, eat the same breakfast, and yes even try the same pre-run dinner the night before.  We have 7 weeks left, so if you make a mistake and your tummy dislikes broccoli and chicken with whole wheat pasta, you can try something else next week.  Do it until it becomes a habit, just part of your run.

This weekend will be a terrific opportunity to pull out the shorts and singlet to practice your race outfit.  With weather in the 60s and 70s, this is our first opportunity to run in conditions close to that on race day.  Eat your planned pre-race dinner on Friday, get in your chosen breakfast on Saturday, carry (and use) your gels or blocks or favorite fuel, and enjoy every mile.  Look around and smile!  While you are at it, practice your finish line pose.  If you see a bunch of runners with their arms in the air or flexing at the end of the run, you’ll know you are among fellow Cap City athletes!

1476_CapCity2013_PhotoKitchen5D_MG_0748

Cap City athletes celebrate their day in 2013.

 

Happy Training!

Aimee

coachaimee@m3ssports.com

 

 

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Posted on March 9, 2016, in Beginners, Run-Walk, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent advice. Thank you

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