Just signing up for your first road race can be quite intimidating. Can I run that far? Will I finish last? What if I get lost? Etc, etc, etc.
Here are a few tips to decrease your anxiety around race day:
(Check out here for pre race day tips)
- Pick up your race packet early. Most races, especially larger races, will allow you to pick up your race number the day before the race. If it is geographically feasible to do this, I strongly recommend it. This will allow you to not worry as much about rushing around the morning of the race. Another bonus: if you pick up early, you are more likely to get the T-shirt size you want!
- Make good food choices. Aim to eat about 1-2 hours before the race. Choose something higher in carbohydrates and lower in fats and fiber. Also, don’t experiment with new foods the day of the race. Try to stick with the same food choices that have worked for you during your training. Race day is not a good day to find out something doesn’t agree with you.
- Arrive early. Parking during races is often an issue most first-timers don’t think about. I have run in races where I had to park a mile away from the start! Luckily, that gave me a good warm up jog, but you don’t want to feel rushed on the morning of the race.
- Visit the Port-O-Potty. Pretty self explanatory! But don’t wait until the last minute. The lines can get VERY long!
- Line up properly. Many races use starting corrals that have you line up by your projected finish time. Pay attention to these and line up properly.
- Set a goal of finishing the race. Don’t set high expectations and put lots of pressure on yourself to finish in a certain amount of time. It’s your first race!
- Don’t stop! Once you cross the finish line, don’t stop immediately. There will likely be other runners coming in behind you and you don’t want to get run over.
- Bask in the “runner’s high.” Wear that race medal or T-shirt proudly 🙂