Monday, October 11, 2010

The big day is what?

The hard work is done. You've logged countless miles getting ready for your big race and the day is finally here. Now all that's left to do is execute. Avoid these common mistakes and you'll finish like a champ:
  • Taking it out too hard--This is probably the number-one race day blunder. To avoid it, begin by seeding yourself accordingly. If you line up with the front of the pack, you'll likely get caught up. A mile or two in, your body will tell you that was a mistake. Practice starting your runs at an easier pace and gradually increasing the speed towards the end to help keep you in check on race day.
  • Showing up at the race at the last minute--Big races in particular can be logistical nightmares. Avoid getting stuck in long lines by giving yourself time to get parked, into your race-day outfit, and properly warmed up. 
  • Waiting until the last minute to hit the loo--Sounds silly, but the lines can get very long at the porta-potties! Get in line as soon as you arrive so that you're not still there when the gun goes off.
  • Skipping the water stops--Yes, taking in fluids while running can be tricky, but practice it in advance and it will be easier. Or consider walking through the aid stations. Whatever you do, don't skip the chance to hydrate.
  • Wearing too much/too heavy clothing--Many races start early in the morning when it's still cold. But once you get moving in your race, you'll heat up fast--faster than you would in training, in fact. So bring a throw-away shirt and/or pants to keep warm and then toss them at the start or a mile or two in. Most races collect this clothing post-race and donate it.
 By combining your training with the right approach to race day, you're sure to enjoy the event. More than likely, you'll leave the race chomping at the bit for the next chance to do it again.


  1. Im planning on my first half--first race ever since HS/College track. I am nervous I wont know where to go--I have a terrible sence of direction. Is it usually pretty obvious? I run 65 miles a week- am I ready for a half? My long runs are only 15 miles. Oh and one other thing--I dont hydrate during runs or fuel during. I feel fine but IS it fine? I have something before and after but I never feel like I need to during. Any advice? Thanks Miss Zip!

  2. Momma K--It is pretty much always obvious where to go during a race, but still keep your eyes open during turns/corners. You are running plenty of miles for a 1/2--more than most run for a full marathon. I also think 15 is the perfect number of miles for a 1/2. Finally--I would recommend hydrating...however, if you are used to running w/o doing so and don't have time to test in training between now and then, it could be a gamble to start on race day. But do make sure you are loaded up hydration wise in the day before/morning of the race if you're going to try it w/o during the race.

  3. How come I didn't discover this before! Love it, I can always use advice since I'm not a very experienced runner yet.

  4. Thanks for your advice, Miss Zippy!