Updated: Mar 8
If you are wondering what you should or shouldn’t do the day before your marathon or big race here are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years. Some work for me others do not. What works or doesn’t work for one may or may not work for another. Everyone is different but hopefully, a few of these will help you on race day.
Nothing kills a race faster than dehydration. Most of us do not drink enough water during the day so make sure you drink plenty of water. DID YOU KNOW? That if you are 2% dehydrated it can have a negative effect on athletic performance.
2. Eat Properly
Eating well-balanced meals helps provide your body with the necessary fuel for a successful race. Personally, I try to eliminate processed and sugary foods the week leading up to my race. I try and have plenty of healthy fats carbs and protein.
3. Abstain from alcohol.
Save the alcohol for the celebration post-race. Alcohol can influence motor skills, hydration status, aerobic performance, as well as aspects of the recovery process.
4. Lay out your running gear and have a list.
Make a list of everything you need for your race. Layout all of your gear the night before and check it twice. Not only will you be less stressed but also less likely to forget anything. If you are like me, I hardly sleep before a race leaving me likely to forget something or be left scrambling in the wee hours trying to find something I forgot.
5. Stretch and Relax.
You have put in months of training so take the day to rest and relax as much as possible. Perhaps a massage or even some light stretching to stay loose and limber.
6. Set an Alarm (Maybe 2).
I typically never use an alarm and if I do manage some sleep before a race I am up hours before I should be. However, for peace of mind and those that manage to sleep setting an alarm or even two can be reassuring and insurance that you don’t oversleep.
The last thing anyone wants to do is rush around because they are running late, which brings me back to number 4. The better prepared the day before the less likely you are going to be stressed on race should anything go wrong.
7. Attitude and Confidence.
If you completed your training and prepared properly this should be easy. However, life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. So maybe you’re less prepared than you would like to be. Totally understandable. Be POSITIVE and CONFIDENT. It’s too late to stress or worry about your training and it certainly won't help on race day. You can do this! Confidence and attitude can help you get through those tough spots on race day, but it starts the night before. Think positively and good things will happen.
Hopefully, there are a few things here that make your race successful.
The goal is to find what works for YOU and that takes trial and error. Remember what works and even what doesn’t work and write it down in your runner’s journal, (you keep one right?).