Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, these helpful tips will get you ready for the race from a week before, right up to the starting line.

  • Race Day Tips
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    Begin to decrease mileage: Don’t burn yourself out before the big race. Remember that during the final week before race day, it’s a good idea to take shorter runs, rest two days before and do no more than a light jog the day before the race.
  • Check out the route: Set aside some time to drive, walk or jog the course for the upcoming race. This takes out the surprise of a big hill near the end that you might not have been expecting.
  • No new gear: You may be tempted to go out and buy a brand new pair of shoes for your race, but this is not a good idea. New shoes are often stiff and can cause blisters, which can lead to a miserable run. It’s best to wear gear that has been broken in and you are used to training in.
  • Create a playlist: Listening to music while running can be incredibly motivating. Get a great playlist together before the race so you’re not preoccupied with it during the run.
  • Get good, quality sleep: Pre-race jitters can often hinder sleep. Your body works best on at least 8 hours of sleep, so try to make it a goal to achieve this two consecutive nights leading up to race day.
  • Hydrate: Hydration is vital on race day, but it’s just as important during the days leading up to it. Remember to drink when you’re thirsty, and aim to get about 4 to 8 ounces of water per hour.
  • Don’t stress: It’s natural to feel anxious before a race, but remember that there are people of all ages and abilities who share a passion for running. Bring friends or family to cheer you on for extra motivation.
  • Eat breakfast: Plan to eat about 2 hours before the race – something high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Eating carb-rich foods prior to endurance exercise appears to enhance performance (more so than protein-rich or fat-rich foods). Examples include a banana, bagel with peanut butter, sports bar, granola or oatmeal. Avoid dairy.
  • Check the weather: Check your local forecast to ensure you’re properly dressed for weather conditions on race day.
  • Warm up: Do a light jog for 5 to 10 minutes before the race and gently stretch your legs and hips.
  • Pace yourself: Don’t start too fast – focus on your race pace or even a slightly slower pace when the starting gun sounds.
  • Enjoy the race: Scientific evidence proves that regular exercise – running in particular – has lasting health benefits!

For more information about the Young Athlete Center or to schedule an appointment, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us.


Expert Advice