The Ultimate Pre-Race Running Checklist


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!


What’s on your race-day checklist?

6 thoughts on “The Ultimate Pre-Race Running Checklist

  1. Great list! I’m racing next weekend and since it’s a destination race I’m super worried about forgetting something important and not being able to get it when I’m there. This is reminding me to make a packing list just for the race!


    • Nice! Yeah, never hurts to make a list…and check it twice (er, three times) because I speak from experience having forgotten stuff! Good luck in your race 🙂


  2. Good article. For destination races, it is a good idea to pack your running gear in your carry on bag. Then, if your luggage gets lost, you still have what you need to run your race.


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