Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tips: Advice for Race Day

Perhaps you've heard...my first 5K is this coming Saturday!!! I am equal parts excited and nervous, and I have a bunch of questions. Please share your insights!

Music: I always run with my ipod, and I'd thought about making a play list specifically to get me through the race. However, I've also found that when I run outside, I rely a lot less on the music to keep me going. Should I stick with what I've been doing all along, or leave the ipod at home and just take in all the sounds of the race as part of the experience?

Food: The race is at 6pm. What time should I eat beforehand, and what? Is it necessary to load up on carbs before a race this short? Is it better not to eat too much, so that nerves won't cause an upset stomach?

Packet Pick-Up: I don't anticipate being able to get down to Arlington any other time this week, so I'm just going to pick up my packet as soon as I get there on Saturday, probably about an hour before race time. Does that sound reasonable, or should I make an effort to get there even earlier?

Warm up: What is the best way to warm up before a race? I usually stretch a little and then walk five minutes before running...should I try to replicate that right before the start of the race? I just have no idea what to expect so I don't know what is feasible.

Is there anything else I'm missing, some detail I have overlooked? Please give me all the tips you normally give first-time racers!!! Thanks!!!


  1. Music: I always run with my ipod. I would get bored otherwise.

    Food: I would eat a light lunch that is filling and a luna bar or something an hour and a half before the race.

    Packet Pick-Up: In all the races I have done this would be fine. Can't speak specifically to one up there.

    Warm up: I just keep stretching and moving as I wait for the "go."

  2. I agree with above.... the sounds of the race were never exciting for me.

    Food... I am used to early morning runs which I stuck to limited food and carbed the night before. I would carb the night before not day of. I would stop eating a couple of hours before but keep up your fluids.

    Packet pick up depends on how many are registered for the race. When I went to a low key run one hour was fine but when I went to a Komen race that would not have been enough time.

    Warming up... good to stretch a little and if you can jog a little to loosen you up and finish with stretching more. I used to jog from my car to the registration table and then stretch.

    Don't sweat it!! YOu will do great!