Last-Minute Race Day Tips

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New York is getting ready for the NYC Half Marathon 2018 and more than 20.000 runners are getting into the pre-race-blues. The week before an important race is a mix of excitement, anxiety and pure joy. Even though I ran the NYC Half multiple times already it always gives me butterflies. It's New York's biggest and most popular half marathon and it was my first race in 2o14.

I have written about the new course of the NYC Half 2018 and also captured a race strategy for this year, but what about our nerves? How do we get them under control to not freak out about the fact that we're running this big race in a few days from now? Let me share a few very personal advice that I use to calm myself down before a race. I'm sure they will apply for you too:

My very personal last-minute race day tips

If you read my blog for a while now you may know that I'm all about confidence and trust in your own-self. My number one advice I always give to my clients and to you today is to trust your training. No matter how long you have trained for this day, it was enough and you're ready for the 13.1 miles.

You came a long way and whatever your mind is telling you right now: You are fully prepared for the race. Don't try to run extra miles you may have missed. It's all good. The last week is just sitting out the taper time and wait for the race day.

Stay comfortable

Another important tip that comes along with trusting your journey is not doing anything new on race day. Wear the shoes you have trained with, wear the same socks you're used to and have the same breakfast you have had before your long runs during training. "Get comfortable with the comfortable." - When it comes to pre race tips it is totally okay to live along these lines.

Mentally and physically ready

My next tip is something that I really have to keep reminding myself about every single day before a race. Relax as much as you can and surround yourself with people who calm you down and make you happy. Don't waste energy on stress or people who are draining you down. All your focus should be on your race. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

I have raced when I was upset, sad or angry and it was awful. Find your peace. When this means it is just you alone, that's fine too. Of course some people or stress isn't avoidable, since we can't just quit our jobs, but maybe the way we look at things should change at least until race day to give ourselves a break.

The reason why

Remind yourself the last week before the race why you want to finish. Why do you want to run a personal best, or cross the finish line? Maybe this race is your very first half marathon. What made you sign up for it?

Soak all these feelings in and transform them into something energizing. Take this energy with you to the start. It all begins in our minds and there's nothing more beautiful than knowing the purpose of our actions. Be proud of your reasons to run, be proud of yourself and embrace these feelings.

Get yourself a fan

My last pre-race tip is to involve your friends and loved ones. Talk about your feeling, your training, your fears. Maybe they can even come with you to the race? I personally love support and I think there's nothing more special than knowing someone woke up early for you to see you running and support you on your special day.

I can talk forever before a race, I get really excited, but it helps to let it all out. So get yourself a fan and take him or her with you to support. Don't forget to thank this person over pizza after the race and celebrate your victory.
Why you can trust Sabrina Wieser
Runningbrina is committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Her editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Sabrina uses data-driven methodologies to evaluate all products, so all brands are measured equally.
  • Most featured running blog, past 6 years
  • USATF certified running coach
  • Experienced endurance athlete
  • 7 marathons

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