5 Keys to Running Your Best Race

Over the past few months, most of you reading this have dedicated a significant amount of time, dedication, and energy over preparing for this one race. If you put in the work, then you are ready for the race! Here are tips that have helped me crush through PR’s and run my best race.

#1. Be Confident
As mentioned above, you have put hours on hours into getting ready for the race. If you put in the work then you are ready; if you did not then, there is no hiding now. You have had great runs and awful runs in training. Race day could prove to be either, but having the confidence to know you’ve been through worse will help to keep you moving on race day.

#2. Be Patient
Going out of the gates to fast is the most common mistake people make in races. The blood is pumping, and we are excited to take on the course after all this is what we have been training for right!? Whatever you do I promise you this is a bad idea! You will majorly pay for it later on in the race. Run the pace that you have trained at early on. This will allow you to find a rhythm and build confidence for the later miles. If later on in the race you are still feeling good, then we can take off and push the pace to the finish. Optimally we are striving for even splits (Running the same pace throughout the whole race) or negative splits (Running the second half of the race faster than the first)

#3. Fuel Up
Who doesn’t enjoy stuffing their face the night before a big race? While carb loading is not a requirement for running a marathon, making sure you are adequately fueled and hydrated going into a race is crucial. Shoot to consume 2-3g of carbohydrates per pound of body weight the night before and 1g/pound of body weight the morning of. Avoid fried foods and anything that is uncommon to you the night before to avoid upsetting your stomach.

#4. Take Fluids at Every Station
Even when you don’t feel thirsty, you need to make sure you are taking fluids at every station to stay hydrated. With stations being available every mile, my recommendation is to alternate between water and Gatorade. It is also best to take your GU or whatever carb substance you have trained with right before a fluid station so you can wash it down. Don’t forget to pinch the cup before taking a drink to avoid dumping the fluid all over your face!

#5. Visualize
At times during the race, you are going to ask yourself why you are doing this, and think I should stop. When this happens, I recommend visualizing what is important in your life. For most of us, that’s family, friends, and work. What would these people say if you quit or told them you wanted to quit? How would you feel tomorrow if you woke up and realized you had trained for three months only to quit on yourself? Then visualize the finish line. Imagine turning the corner of Boulevard of the Allies and hearing thousands of people cheering for you, visualize hugging your loved ones, and if you are like me visualize the best-tasting beer you could ever imagine waiting at the finish line for you!

Still nervous about the race? Schedule a 15-minute goal setting meeting with me to take about race day and strategy.