The Other Side of Race Preparation

It’s the day before your big race.  Whether you’ve been preparing for an Ironman or a 5K, you are physically ready.  You’ve logged hours of training, no what do you do?

The day before race day is almost just as important as race day itself.  You need to make sure you do the obvious things like eat right and hydrate.  If your race is an endurance event in the heat, you may want to consider increasing your sodium intake as well as keeping a close eye on your hydration.

The night before your event you should take the time to make sure everything is all set for the next day.  This can avoid any unnecessary stress and anxiety right before the race.  Be sure to check the weather forecast to make sure the clothes you intend to wear are appropriate for the expected conditions.  Also, make sure the clothes you intend to wear are clean and ready to go.  Pack your bag with extra accessories you may need (hats, gloves, arm warmers, extra sports bra, socks, jacket, etc).  Have all of your nutrition needs ready.  Prepare any drink mixes, set out gels, bars, etc.  If your event is an endurance event and you usually use a recovery drink, prepare this as well.  Double check to make sure you have whatever it is that you intend to eat for breakfast to avoid additional stops in the morning.

If possible, pick your packet up the day ahead of time.  This will allow you to have your bib number prepared and any numbering ready that is required for that race.  This can also help you avoid long lines at packet pick up race morning.

Most importantly, make sure you know where you are going race morning.  Wake up extra early to allow time for race morning mistakes.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, print out a map and pack it with your race supplies.  If at all possible, drive to the race site the day before.  Familiarize yourself with the area, the parking, the start and finish.  If you are racing in a triathlon, check out the transition area and where it is in relationship to the swim exit, bike in/out and run in/out.  If time allows, walk or bike the course.  Be familiar with the turns so you don’t get lost on the course.

Making sure you are comfortable with finding the race site is one of the most important things you can do the day before an event.  If you don’t make it to the race in time everything else you do is irrelevant as you won’t be racing.  Following this guide can help you prepare ahead of time and make race morning as smooth as possible allowing you to focus on the most important thing, the race.  Happy racing!