6 Tips for a Peaceful Race/LSD

Tips to Have a Great Pre Race Night

How long has it been since you last raced? Racing is oh so slowly beginning to open up. Are you a bit rusty about what to do the night before a race? Or maybe you’re new to running and you need some tips to help you set yourself up for success before a long run.

I’ve got you covered with these six tips!

Know your go-to meal/s
One of the main points of training is that you do nothing new on race day. That’s why we practice! Try out several pre-long run day meals. See which ones seem to agree most with your stomach — and your long run the next day.

If you’re racing from home, now you know exactly what to eat before the race. If you’ve traveled to race, make sure you’ve tried out a meal that will be easy to find at your destination.

Of course you can try something new — just be prepared for potential consequences

Lay out everything
And I do mean everything!

  • Clothes
  • Accessories: hair ties, sunglasses, hat/visor, gaiter, gloves, socks
  • Fuel
  • Bottles for beverages, if you carry your own
  • Any beverage mix you’ll be mixing up the next morning
  • Race belt or pins
  • Bib
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti chafe product
  • Tape, arm or leg sleeves, braces
  • Ziploc bags for if it’s rainy and you need to put your electronics in it
  • Watch
  • Bag for pre/post race stuff
  • License/money (if I had a $ for every time I forget my license!)
  • Car keys  (or every time I can’t find my car keys when I really need them)
  • Foam roller or balls
  • Anything you can leave out that you’ll have for breakfast
  • Shoes — make sure you have a left & right shoe (even if they don’t match)

You’ll sleep better knowing that you have everything is ready for the next day and there’s no reason to waste time.

clean clear cold drink
Hydrating well will give you more energy — just don’t overdo it! | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

During the day, make sure to hydrate well . . .
. . . but know your cut off time. The time where if you continue to drink, you know you’re going to have to get up to use the bathroom. For me that’s usually around 5 pm!

Don’t overdo the hydration. You can’t make up for not hydrating well in the days leading up to your race by slamming liquids the day before your race — trust me, this will backfire on you.

So keep in mind that the time to really hydrate is in the three days or so leading up to your race.

You don’t have to be a zombie, but now is not the time to go on that strenuous hike or do heavy lifting. Of course if you’re traveling and you want to hike the day before your race, go for it! Just now that it’s unlikely to be a PR, if that’s what you’re shooting for.

I highly recommend that if you’ve tried meditation and you actually enjoy it (or at the very least tolerate it), meditate before you go to sleep. This will help you to relax, both in your body and your mind, and may help you sleep better. 

Normally meditation will absolutely help you sleep better, but we’ve all had that restless night before a race, right? It will still help to relax your body and calm your mind.

closed up photography of two iphones
Make sure you’re gadgets are charged! | Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Charge up all your electronics
A dead Garmin is a real buzzkill at a race — unless, of course, you love to race naked. By naked I mean without a GPS watch, although there are a few races you can actually do naked, if that’s your thing.

Set an alarm — or two
I set my alarm on my Garmin Vivoactive, and since I wear that 24/7, there’s no worry that I’m going to forget to wear it or have it by me. I do need to remember to charge it up before I go to sleep — and usually to top it up a bit before I actually leave for my race.

I don’t normally sleep with my phone on, but before a race I do usually use it as a backup for my Garmin. I’ve never slept through my Garmin yet, but two is better than one. So I’ll have my phone charging, set to do not disturb (no middle of the night calls or texts), and have a second alarm go off a little after my Garmin is set to wake me. Just in case.

Final Thoughts
If you’re new to running or racing, this may seem a little overwhelming. Plenty of people have a much smaller pre-race routine, too. You’ll find out what works for you.

If you want to get a great night’s sleep before your race, these tips will help. Over time you’re pre race routine will become just that: routine. A ritual. Your body loves routines and rituals!

Are you looking forward to some RL races soon? 

How long has it been since you raced? 

What do you do pre-race/LSD that I didn’t mention? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


32 thoughts on “6 Tips for a Peaceful Race/LSD

  1. Ha ha. I just raced Saturday.

    I think you got everything.

    I always add a foil blanket to keep warm because I can throw it away and in addition to race clothes, extra clothes for after and of course throwaways. It is always colder in the first few miles.

    I bring my own chocolate milk in case there isn’t any. If I am traveling I have my credit card, $20, insurance card and my license. Otherwise nothing but Gu in my pockets

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your list, Judy!
    I start making a list of everything I need well ahead of race day. I even lay out my “flat jane” three days in advance to make sure I have everything.

    Excellent points about rest. Normally I don’t sleep in the night before a race, but if you have rested well in the days before, I guess it doesn’t matter so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found that making a list (throughout the days prior), as thoughts come to you, helps. It’s easy to take for granted what we “know” we won’t forget LOL I always lay everything out the evening prior as well…I still do that for a lot of my early-morning runs because I have a much more clear mind the evening prior than I do first thing in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually have a printed out list for backing. It’s in a page protector, so I can check things off with a dry erase pen & then just wipe it all off.

      I don’t run super early in winter, but as it gets warmer I’ll lay stuff out the night before because my husband is still asleep when I get up.


  4. Great tips! Its so important to be prepared the night before a race I always set 2 alarms when I want to make sure I get up at a certain time, but I usually don’t need them before a race and end up waking up on my own!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My go-to meal the night before a race is pizza. I am comfortable with that. I am sort of a minimalist runner and racer. I don’t carry more than I absolutely need to and I don’t run with electronics, so I don’t have a lot to lay out the night before. I read somewhere that it’s important to get enough rest 2 nights before the race. If your sleep is restless due to pre-race jitters the night before the race, it is not as significant.
    Thanks for the great tips, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your point, “Lay out everything” made me giggle – so I lay out everything. I can’t sleep until everything is ready. My husband is the exact opposite – he lays out NOTHING. And every race morning is dictated by him running frantically around looking for everything from socks to shirts, to bibs, everything (and of course not finding half of it!). He never learns. I will need to save this article just for him, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a great system in place for race day. It has obviously gotten very dusty! I most likely won’t have a real race until September so I will surely need to brush up on all of this. Laying out my “flat runner” is always a big help!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Making sure my gadgets are charged is always my downfall! My Garmin and my iPhone always seem to be on low battery. Haha! These are great tips to be prepared for races and for runs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is helpful as I have been trying to remember how to do this racing thing since it’s been almost 2 years since my last half marathon and it’s coming up this weekend!! So key to bring all the chargers and recovery tools!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, every time I write it out it seems like SO much.

      I actually hav3 a packing list in a page protector so I can check things off, wipe it off & reuse it. I think I actually know where it is still! 🤣


  10. This weekend for Ragnar was the most organized I’d ever been, mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t home and wouldn’t be able to get my stuff. I was pretty impressed with my fueling during the race, as I ran 3 times throughout the 28 hours of the event and I was worried about fueling in between my legs, but it worked out well. However, the baggies for my clothes were the best. It was SO easy when I had everything ready to go, especially for my midnight legs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. All great tips!! I often set multiple alarms because one of my common pre race dreams involves sleeping through an alarm. Never has happened, but I want to ensure that it never does!

    Liked by 1 person

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