A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Racing Tip - Have a dress rehearsal!

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A friend of mine is running her first half marathon next weekend. I am so excited for her! She has been following a training plan and the big day is soon here!

When friends of mine are running their first race, they usually have a load of questions for me. I don't mind at all- I love talking about running! And I love helping people. I want them to love running and be successful at it.

The questions I get are usually some version of the following:

What should I eat the night before?
What should I eat for breakfast?
What should I wear?
How early should I get up the day of the race?

My answer to these questions is always:

Do what works for you, and do what you have BEEN doing. 
Do not change things up the morning of the race.


If you normally eat a healthy meal rich in energy the night before a long run, don't get McDonalds or Chinese food the night before the race. (On the other hand, if McDonalds has been working for you... continue!)

If you have been eating oatmeal and banana before your long runs, don't have scrambled eggs and bacon the morning of the race.

Don't break in a new pair of shoes the day of the race. Wear them for a week or two to make sure they don't cause problems.

Think about how much time it takes you to get going on your long runs (for me, it's wake up, breakfast, coffee, bathroom, chill, bathroom, bathroom bathroom... haha!) and then factor in travel time to the start and any registration that needs to be done that morning. Add on an extra half hour to be cautious. This will determine what time you need to get up! Having too MUCH time to get ready is way better than having too LITTLE time.

Dress Rehearsal

I also suggest turning your last long run into a "dress rehearsal" for your race. Maybe it's the performer in me, but a dress rehearsal is an AWESOME IDEA!

Things to do for your race dress rehearsal:

1. Start properly hydrating yourself a few days before your dress rehearsal- just like you would do before a race.  Don't just drink a ton of water that morning.

2.The night before, eat the same type of dinner you plan to eat before the race.

3. Wake up at the time you plan to wake up race morning and start your run at the same time your race starts.

4. Eat the breakfast you plan to eat on race morning.

5. Wear the same clothes and carry the same gear you plan on racing in.

6. Run a similar terrain as the course. If it is possible to run part of the course, do it.

7. If you are training for a specific time goal, run at least part of the run at race pace.

The dress rehearsal will do two things:

1. Make you aware of any red flags you may need to tweak for race day. Maybe your shorts chafe you. Maybe your breakfast needs to be tweaked. Maybe you realize you need more time to get ready than you initially thought. No fear! Now that you know something needs to be tweaked, you can do it.

2. Prepare you MENTALLY for the challenge ahead of you. Hopefully you will be less jittery race morning because you went through all the proper preparation steps and you will feel CONFIDENT you've GOT THIS.

Have you ever done a "dress rehearsal" before a race? Did it help?

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