The Night Before the Race
1. Prepare your running clothes and equipment (i-pod, cap, gels, water bottle, etc.) the night before to make sure you have everything ready already.
2. Check your running shoes to make sure they are ok and that your laces are good as well.
3. Trim your toenails the night before to make sure they don’t become a problem on race day!
4. Drink plenty of water the day before the race – enough so you need to urinate before you go to bed.
5. Make sure to get enough sleep to keep your energy during the race. Running on just a few hours of sleep is NOT RECOMMENDED (think low-bat)! All the race preparation and training will be wasted if you don’t get enough sleep before the race day.
The Day of the Race
1. Wake up early enough to take care of everything you must do (eat and drink, visit the bathroom, dress, etc.)
2. Use a lubricant product like petroleum jelly and cover body areas susceptible to chafing.
3. Double check that you have your race kit.
4. Leave early for the race so you’ll have enough time to park and do last minute preparations. You can expect parking to be far from the race venue so plan the walking time from the parking to the starting line.
5. Warm up and loosen up well before you race.
Food and Hydration
1. Eat a light meal an hour to an hour and a half before the race. Bread, pasta, rice, water, and non-acidic fruit like bananas are good choices.
2. Avoid dairy products, fried foods, fiber rich foods or anything you are not used to. A good rule of thumb is – DO NOT EAT OR DRINK SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED BEFORE. This includes electrolyte drinks or energy gels that are being given out for free.
3. You can eat light snack like crackers or a piece of bread or fruit up to 30 minutes before the race. Be sure to wash it down with water.
4. You can pre-hydrate yourself until 15 minutes before the race starts. Just be sure to go to the restroom before the start and flush it out.
JTips from: Coach Jim Saret, Performance Enhancement Specialist/Speed and Conditioning Coach MSAT, PES, SAQ, CAPT, M.S. Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Brigham Young University, USA