Throughout the course of your running career, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a few of those race-mornings-gone-haywire, whether it’s sleeping through the alarm, overdoing it on the carb-loading or forgetting a crucial piece of gear.
Yup — been there, done all that. Still kicking myself for forgetting my time chip in the Nike Women’s Half a few years back.
While it’s true that ideal race-day conditions — the sweet spot when you feel “on,” have fueled correctly and don’t arrived stressed at the start line — are never a guarantee, there is one major thing you can do in advance when it comes to setting yourself up for success in that next event: Make a checklist.
Taking inventory will not only help you combat the surging adrenaline and dancing butterflies, but you’ll also get a better handle on those little things that can be easily forgotten or overlooked amid the excited tension. It’s a frequently overlooked, yet critical, part of training leading up to the actual race.
I like to test all my clothing, shoes, fuel, hydration and tech accessories ahead of time during training, making sure they fit well, don’t rub, agree with my stomach and are fully charged, respectively. Then it’s just a matter of laying everything out and going down the list to make sure (and double-confirm) that everything’s accounted for.
Depending on the length of the race, give yourself at least a week to start getting organized. By the night before, everything should be locked and loaded so you can operate in autopilot once the race-morning brain fog hits.
Then it’s just a matter of taking a final gander at the weather forecast, setting two alarms, prepping your pre-race breakfast, and you’re good to go.
Below is a handy infographic that may help; happy racing, friends!