I admire the runners who get up, maybe drink some coffee and eat some toast, and boom! They’re ready to toe the line at a race.
Getting ready for a long run or race is a process for me.
It starts the night before
I try to make sure everything is laid out the night before:
- Race outfit
- Race fuel
- Anti chafe lotion
- Rocktape (if necessary)
I also charge up my Garmin and my phone. I will load up my hydration vest, if I’m using it, with my sunglasses, pre-race snack (if there’s a long time between breakfast and the race), race fuel and Saltstick chews — but not water, yet, because I want it to be cold (I’ve only done a couple of halfs where it was cold and I didn’t want cold water to drink!).
I attach my bib to my race belt, and usually put sandals, post race snack, maybe a change of clothes in a bag that Mr. Judy can carry when he meets me after the race. I also put water into the refrigerator so it will be cold for race day.
I often eat overnight oats the morning of a long run/race, and if I have a mini crockpot with me, I put my breakfast in it so it will be warm when I get up. If I don’t have the crockpot, I just warm it up in the microwave the next morning.
Most of the time I’ll make a flat me so I can try to check and make sure that I’ve got everything laid out. Doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten something, but it makes it less likely.
First thing in the morning
Usually the very first thing I do in the morning, after getting some warm lemon water to drink, is tape my knees (because you want to do that before applying any lotion). Next I braid my hair (keeps it out of my mouth and eyes — mostly — and apply sunscreen; almost all my long distance races have been warm races in a skirt and a tank top.
If it’s a later race and I have time, I’ll probably meditate and do some yoga. Otherwise, I’ll eat my breakfast and drink some green tea.
It’s a process
I’ll put on my top first, because then the next thing I do is some foam rolling (helps warm up the muscles).
I foam roll, put on anti chafing lotion, then finish dressing, probably while drinking some Nuun or more tea (depends on how much time I have before the race).
The last thing I usually do is fill my hydration vest’s bladder with the cold water, and, of course, hit the bathroom, which I’ve probably already done multiple times and will do when we get to the race, unless we’re staying close enough that I can walk to the race and only have to use the bathroom in my own room — we’ve done that a few times and it’s heaven.
It’s all about the routine
Having a routine for long run/race day evening/mornings helps take out some of the stress. I know many runners to-do list before a race is a lot shorter than mine. What can I say, it seems to work for me!?
Do you have any sort of pre-race routine?
Are there things you do that I don’t?
Do you get up early just so you can digest your breakfast? I do!