Beat Pre-Race Nerves: How To Survive Race Day Morning
Running a race can be scary, but finishing is one of the best feelings in the world! In order to finish with all your goals achieved, it is important to keep your body + mind healthy. Your body can’t perform it’s best if it is not properly taken care off. These 8 tips will help you prepare for you race + finish strong + healthy. Good luck — you’re going to crush your race : )
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE
1] EAT LOTS OF CARBS
This is [in my opinion] probably the easiest pre-race tip because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love carbs?! Carbs are a great source of energy, making them the perfect food group to fuel your body before a race. After eating a food rich in carbs, your body stores most of the carbs in your muscles + liver as glycogen, which can then be used as energy for your body. You don’t have to be too concerned about what kinds of carbs you eat either — anything from bread to fruit is okay, but try to choose foods that are lower in fiber [the last thing you need is your stomach bothering you]. In addition, don’t eat so many carb-rich foods that you feel sick to your stomach. Eat lots of carbs, but stop eating once you have reached fullness because over consuming carbs can cause digestive problems.
2] GET YOUR GEAR TOGETHER
One of the worst feelings in the world is when you’re running late the morning of your race [it happens, we all lose track of time]. When rushing, it is easier to forget things, so it is very important that you have your gear organized + packed the night before. Even if you’re confident you won’t be running late the next morning, it is still beneficial to have your gear packed because it is one less thing you have to worry about while preparing yourself for the race. Some gear that is good to pack is water bottles, a change of clothes, extra hair-ties/headbands, + anything else you may think you need.
3] DO AN EASY WORKOUT LIKE YOGA OR A SHORT WALK/RUN
Many people think that the night before a race, you shouldn’t workout in order to let your body relax + prepare itself. Of course, our bodies need rest, but a short workout the night before a big race relieves stress + tension in your muscles. The worst thing you want is waking up the next morning + feeling stiff — this will help you avoid that!
4] DRINK WATER
The night before your race, you should be drinking water. Water intake the night before will hydrate your body + fuel it for the big day. You shouldn’t drink too much water the day of the race because you don’t want to have to stop running to pee while running. In addition, drinking a lot of water before racing will make you feel bloated + you could start cramping up.
5] GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP
Sleep is one of the most important things you need in order to properly rest your body. You should aim for a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, but if you are able to get more, definitely take advantage of that! Getting enough sleep is a crucial aspect of succeeding on race day — your body needs to reCHAARG in order to function at its best! Enough sleep can also minimize race anxiety + help you stay more calm + confident on race day.
THE MORNING OF THE RACE
6] WAKE UP EARLY
Many individuals are not morning people — they cannot function their best right after they wake up. Therefore, it is important to wake up early on race day to give your body some time to wake up. Waking up early will also make you feel more relaxed because you won’t be rushing in the morning. You will have time to make breakfast, mentally prepare yourself, warm up, + do anything else you need to do!
7] EAT A NUTRITIOUS PRE-RACE MEAL
Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, especially on race day! We all know food = fuel, so it is critical to eat a nutritious pre-race meal in order to allow your body to perform at its best! Three to four hours before the race, eat a meal that contains about 50-75 grams of carbs + a low fat protein source. Some good breakfast choices are a bagel with peanut butter, oatmeal, or toast with eggs. Try to avoid any breakfast foods with a lot of sugar +/or caffeine because while they initially boost energy, this is only temporary + can lead to a decrease in energy in the long run.
About half an hour before your race starts, make sure to get your body moving! Your warm up can be anything from stretching to jogging/walking — the only important thing is that you get your heartbeat up + your body moving. Warming up stretches + prepares your muscles, which will help you prevent injuries from occurring, while also preparing your body to perform its very best!
++ Soula [soula_inchaarg] // UMD CHAARG