How to Have a Great Race: 5 Things Savvy Runners Know

1) Do a Dress Rehearsal

Test out your race-day running gear on your training runs. Wear your entire outfit for at least one run. Develop good nutrition and hydration habits the days leading up to each long run as it gets closer to the race. You’ll feel more confident knowing spaghetti with marinara sauce was a better choice than fettucini alfredo.

2) Study the Course

It’s even better if you can drive or bike the course prior to race day. Be aware of hills, turns, and major landmarks. You’ll be able to better pace yourself if know about that evil hill on mile 12. If the race has a few years of history, try to find a blog post by another runner. First-hand experience can be extremely useful if you are unfamiliar with the area or the race.

3) Arrive Early

Stake out the port-a-potties. Walk to the gear check area. Find the starting line. Post a status update. The point is, give yourself enough time to be relaxed. If you are running to the starting line, it will be hard to feel confident in the first few miles.

4) Stick With Your Plan

It is so easy to get caught up in the race day excitement that even experienced runners often go out way too fast. Pay attention to your pace and try not to get too far ahead of your goal. Runners often feel fresh and ready to race after a taper. But a little patience in the beginning will pay off in the second half as the race really begins.

5) Thank the Volunteers and Police Officers

People that get up early on a weekend to help you accomplish your running feats need to be thanked. Give them a high five or shout ‘em a hearty “thanks.”

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