So your big race is approaching? You’re probably a mix of excitement and nerves. We asked Asics Frontrunner Becca Burns for her top tips to help that last minute race prep feel a bit less daunting
Sleep, nutrition, hydration and rest
The hard work has been done in your training. Now it's time to ease up, eat well, stay hydrated and get sufficient rest including getting enough sleep in the days leading up to the race. The chances are you probably won’t sleep well the night before the event but I find that getting plenty of sleep two nights before a big race (ie Friday night for a Sunday event) will put you in good stead.
Finding the balance between enough carbs and feeling sluggish is essential. Eating your high carb meal at lunchtime or very early evening on the day before race day will stop you from feeling too full to sleep. Pasta and Garlic Bread is always my go-to.
Think about breakfast
Check your cupboards in the days before a race, the last thing you want is to wake up on race morning and realise you’ve run out of your sacred pre-race breakfast food.
Make sure your running watch is charged.
Check it and check it again.
Sometimes things can feel overwhelming the week before a big race, especially for something like a marathon where the volume of training has been exceptionally high. As race day approaches, trust the process and avoid trying to cram extra miles to your plan as this can result in physical and mental fatigue or even injury.
Make a kit list
I have a list of things I need for each race (gels, shoes, top, shorts, pins, socks, recovery products) stored in my phone and use this whenever I’m packing for a race. Trust me, having a list is so helpful when you’re frantically throwing everything into your kit bag.
Test your kit
Whilst we’re on the subject of kit make sure you have tested it in advance. The old saying of do nothing new on race day is very true. Make sure you’ve tested everything including shoes, tops, shorts, gels/nutrition even down to your underwear and the less obvious things like your sock and shoe combo. I also do a quick test wear of my kit around the house the day before, just to be 100% sure, but also to let my kit relax a bit if it is freshly washed.
Check your travel and accommodation arrangements
It sounds obvious but it is always worth checking your travel ahead of race day, especially if you’re relying on public transport. The last thing you want on race morning is to realise that you can’t get to the event after all your hard work and effort.
Plan for your recovery
It is so easy to get wrapped up in your race day prep that you forget to think about what happens after you cross the finish line. Make sure you have a plan for after the race, including post-race nutrition, which comfy clothes you'll need and how you’re going to celebrate!
You’ve done the hard work - it’s time for the victory lap.
For more hints and tips, check out Becca's recent blog on what to expect in the 48 hours before a big race.