My Race Day Routine
After 11 races, I think I've finally nailed a routine that works really well for me. On the tail of two amazing PR races recently, and while packing for my run-cation to Walk Disney World for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon this weekend, I decided I would write a post outlining what I do every race day eve and morning.
The Night Before
While I did PR a race after drinking to celebrate the Cubs the night before, I had restricted myself to two beers and had a whopping 8 12oz glasses of water that evening to compensate. My general rules are a lot more stringent.
I leave myself 8 hours to get some sleep. That's the biggest thing to me. I start drinking extra water at 7 or 8 pm, and am in bed by either 9 or 10, depending on the race start time. I shower right before bed and take a melatonin (my favorite is Beauty Zzzs by HUM Nutrition. Use code 10BAF1 for $10 off!). I double check that all of my gear is laid out and ready to go and then head to bed.
I always wake up way late. I hate standing in the corral and waiting--it really amps up my anxiety. I always joked when I ran high school cross country that every time I toe the line, I think "Oh my God, what am I doing and why am I here?" It's still true. As I inevitably dash out the door, I mix some Unico Nutrition Athena Pre-Workout into a half full disposable bottle of water, grab one of the dozens of granola/power/protein bars I have and sprint down to my lobby to grab a cab. Athena has been so key. I don't need Gu if I take it, and on top of that, it leaves me feeling so normal. I just feel like myself; alert, awake, and focused. If you're interested, it's on sale right now in my favorite flavor, Watermelon Wave, and if you use the code BTempp you get free shipping! The last thing I do before I toss out the pre-workout is take a single ibuprofen. It fights of headaches and cramps like a champ.
While I'm actually running, I stop at every water station. All of them. I take a few drinks from each cup and use it as my 10 seconds to focus, breathe, and fuel up again. I do not ever, under any circumstances, use the port-a-pots along the course. I do get anxiety stomach aches before races, and for that reason I'll take Imodium before I race if my stomach is too upset. Stopping along the way to go makes it harder to start up again and destroys your time. That said, if you gotta go, you gotta go! No judgement.
When I finish a race, I grab a water and banana and my medal and KEEP STANDING. The times I've sat down have been the most miserable race recoveries. I do like to nap after early morning races, but I make sure to stretch PLENTY, drink lots of water, take an extra ibuprofen, and roll out before I even consider laying down. I use this foam roller and love it.
Something I forgot? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!