We’re a little less than a month out from your race, so now it’s time to start thinking about dialing in your race day routine! Race day can be stressful enough, just given the nervous excitement of the day. One thing you can do to minimize your stress is develop a predictable routine. If you start developing this routine now, it will be locked in on race day.
I consider a race day routine to be something you actually start the day before the race, which for a Sunday race is convenient, as your race day routine will begin on a Saturday, and most of you won’t have to worry about the stresses of work. Follow my five tips to help develop a successful race day routine:
- Eating the Day before the Race: Your eating the day before and the morning of the race should be very consistent. Both what you eat and when you eat it can have a big impact on performance. The day before your race you should focus in higher carbs, lower fat, and moderate protein. This is a day where, in moderation, you can consume pasta, rice, and bread. You should shoot for 4-6 servings of carbs.
- Eating the Morning of the Race: The morning of the race, having a good carb-filled breakfast can be very helpful. These should be relatively fast acting carbs, so they don’t sit in your stomach for too long. I recommend a couple pieces of white toast and jelly (or a white bagel w/jelly). You’ll want to consume this between 2-2.5hours before your race to give it time to digest. If you’re looking for an extra shot of energy, having 16oz of Gatorade 20 minutes (or so) before the start of the race can help.
- Sleep: Race weekend (and race week for that matter) sleep should be a priority. Friday and Saturday night you should shoot for a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. If possible, sleeping 8 hours every night the week of the race will help aid in recovery and prepare you for a great race!
- Checklist of Important Items: Making a checklist of all your important items to bring to the race is a great way to manage stress AND reduce the likelihood you’ll forget something. Probably not a bad idea to adopt this habit for your next vacation too , haha. Anything that needs to come with you (or be worn on you) should go on this list. Body glide, fuel belt, shorts, Garmin, and so on. Put it all on the list, no matter how obvious. Once you have the list made, layout everything the night before so in the morning you can be on autopilot.
- Practice this routine: Everything I mentioned above should be practiced leading up to the race. Take the next few weekends and really develop and refine this routine. Figure out what to eat and when to eat it. Determine what you need to do to get the necessary sleep. Take the time to make your list and layout your gear… and when you do, you should take a photo of it and tag us on instagram so I know you followed through (@appliedfitnesssolutions), ha! Practice does indeed make perfect, so take your time and dial in your race day routine.