Anyone who has lined up at the starting line of a race and felt that fusion of nervousness and excitement knows that the day before a race is a vital time to prepare. After all of your training and hard work, it’s crucial to take that final day to prepare both mentally and physically. You may have an idea of what you should and should not be doing on the day before, but in case you had any questions, we’ll lay it out for you.
Don’t try anything new. No new foods, drinks, gear and definitely no new sneakers. If you haven’t used any of these things before, the day before a race or race day is not the time to try them out.
Stay hydrated. You can only drink so much the morning of the race (and most experts don’t recommend drinking much before the starting line), so get your hydration in the day before.
Eat throughout the day. Instead of consuming one gigantic meal the night before, which might cause stomach issues and prevent you from sleeping well, try eating a little bit at a time all day.
Take time to rest. The day before a race is not the time to get a few last minute miles in. If you feel like you need a run, take a short, light jog, but definitely don’t push it. Getting a good night of sleep before the event can be tough but it certainly helps if you can manage to get some shuteye.
Get your gear ready. Nothing will put you into a panic quicker than darting around the house looking for your race shorts or your lucky sock and the worst is when you forget your bib at home—avoid these issues by lining everything up the night before. Not only will it be tough to forget anything, but knowing it’s all ready for race time will put you in the right mindset.
Prepare mentally. This is a big one that’s often overlooked. Even if you’ve looked over the course map a dozen times, bring it up again and review your plan. Think about your goals for the race, think about crossing the finish line with a time you’re proud of and bring out whatever it is that motivates you and revel in the moment. This preparation will help with the morning jitters and envisioning success will help you achieve it.