Race Rules: 13 Runners Share Their Pre-Race Rituals and Superstitions

‘Left shoe on first. Beer absolutely after!’

Never wear your race shirt (you know, the one that you typically get when you pick up your bib at a race expo) until after the race.

Most runners agree, this is pretty much the number one rule of organized racing. Why? Well the most common answer you’ll probably hear is because it’s bad luck.

Or at least that’s what I found when I polled runners about their pre-race superstitions and rituals via social media. 

Basically, the Race Shirt Rule is universally recognized by any and every runner who’s been around the block a few times.

And for the poor race participants who end up breaking the rule because they weren’t clued in, well, they might as well be running around with the word “newb” plastered across their forehead.

I’m kidding! But talking about this curiously common superstition got me wondering; are there any other silly race rituals that runners follow?

Turns out, there are quite a few.

Below 13 road runners and racers share what they do (and don’t do) for good luck before a race.

@cooktraineatrace: I eat the same exact thing before a race. I am very big on seeing if my bib number is a prime number and if it is then great, but if not I ignore it completely and do not want to talk about it.

@marathonstateofmind: Agree with the shirt thing! I also don't publicly post what my time goals are for each race. Don't want to jinx it!

@nikki_horton_: No bananas on race morning!

@run2golden: I I have to take a shower that morning. Even though I'm going to sweat, have to shower!

@missjill0730I Eat the exact thing before a race, and will redo my shoelaces a million times trying to get them right. Even when they start counting down!

@kelly_runs_and_eats: Actually I don't have one! And I kind of like it that way

@miamiflute: Left shoe on first. Beer absolutely after!

@juliehurd: No cheese for about 3 days before the race.

@athenaviolet: No fast pace warm ups because you'll fatigue your muscles before the race

@anewdawn01: Whenever I run I do my laces up at home and then redo them just before I start to run. Plus I have to habe gum to chew whilst I run. Weird I know.

@aaronruns: Always wear a higher distance race shirt to the race I’m running. So everyone knows what I’m about.

@pretendingtoadult: I always run full kms or miles, I think I’m kind of OCD though. Like if I go over, I run one more.

@beatingbinging: I never wear my running shoes to the race, they are always in my bag and I put them on when I get there.