How To Friday – how to race prep


Workout – ever loving rest day.  thank you very much.  It worked well that Fridays are usually a “rest from running” day.  I usually do something else.  but today I took a complete and utter rest day.  which included sleeping until 7 am.  yahoo, thanks to the hubs.  I guess that means it’s my morning to get up with boy wonder tomorrow.  blah.  I had actually toying with the idea of doing a nice and easy few miles, but wasn’t clued in to the weather we were having today….

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That would be snow.  50’s yesterday.  snow today.  I opted out of that run.  and am ever so thankful that this snow happened today and not tomorrow.  back into the 40’s and sunny tomorrow.  prayers are answered. 

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or maybe I should have prayed more specifically – do you see that wind forecast?!?!  that is for tomorrow.  it’s only 27 mph.  shouldn’t be a big deal going up these hills…


That is just fantastic.  looking forward to it.  every single part of it.

I thought it only fitting to do a “how to” about race preparation, seeing as I have a race tomorrow.  If you have been reading for a little bit, you are well aware that I am slightly neurotic all the time before a race.  doesn’t matter what the race is.  I could be racing into a pile of poop, but if it’s a race and people are competing, you can bet I’ll get crazy about it. 

One funny and annoying thing I do – you can ask my husband – is walk around the house the week before a race with a calculator practically attached to my hip figuring out what different paces put me at different finish times.  told you.  I’m crazy.  I like numbers.  and it gives me something to do.  because I get pretty bored around here with my three young children, my husband, “keeping house”, cooking, cleaning and keeping fit as a fiddle.  all in a days work, you know.  and I still couldn’t tell you what pace puts me at what finish time.  I guess I’ll just leave the pace to my garmin. 

let’s begin.  and this is all subjective info that pops off the top of my head.  most of which I have done none of today, in preparation for my race tomorrow.  because I was too busy figuring out my pace and finish time.  😉

How To Prepare for a Race

1 – sleep.  this is very important.  Sleep is not so important the night before a race, but two nights before a race.  I generally never sleep well before a race.  So I try to make it happen the night before the night before race day. 

2- rest.  take it easy the day before.  I don’t think going for a run is bad, but don’t get anxious and do some crazy new exercise or speed work.  that would be silly. 

3- hydrate

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as if my pace calculating didn’t seal the ‘katie is crazy’ deal for you, that is a water bottle with a filter in it.  and that is conversation for another post coming up.  I like it.  will explain later. 

Don’t hydrate so much that you will float away, but keep a water bottle with you.  full of water.  not juice.  and sip it all day.  I’m thinking the two cups of iced coffee I had today probably should have been water.  Can’t get enough of that stuff. 

4- eat.  my take on the carbo loading thing…I don’t find it totally necessary to “carb load” before half marathons or under.  If you are eating a healthy diet, especially leading up to the days before this distance, I think our bodies have enough reserve to get through the 13.1 miles, especially if you are like me and plan on taking 1 or 2 energy supplements during the race.  I feel like people can overdo the whole carb loading and use the race as an excuse to eat a ton of pasta and carbohydrates.  this usually only serves to weigh you down on race day.  I try to just replace some of my protein meals the day before with complex, whole grain carbohydrates.  donuts, cake, cookies – these don’t count.  not a good idea.  Some people like to cut out fiber and fatty foods for the days leading up to a race to prevent the humiliation that might ensue if a porta potty is nowhere to be found.  I don’t generally cut out fiber.  I eat pretty clean and my race morning anxiety tends to do a good job of emptying the bowels before a run.  This is something where you just need to know your body and what works.  Likewise, don’t try any new foods the day before.  And I try to eat on the earlier side.  we always eat on the earlier side, but don’t make 8pm dinner reservations.  Give your body time to digest.  So, your calories don’t need to be through the roof the day before a race.  they just need to be in the form of energy you can use to run – think oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread, veggies, fruit.  My dinner is always this –

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I told you this was my new favorite sweatshirt.  it’s important to stay comfortable, at all times. 

Pasta with a little olive oil and I usually throw in some ground beef.  I don’t eat a lot of red meat, and it’s good for the iron.  I love the Barilla Plus pasta.  It has a good amount of protein, and carbs.  I do like my protein.  and you don’t need to eat the whole box.  a normal serving will do.  and have a snack later if it’s not enough.  

5- lay it all out.  This has been my motto regarding running, working out, exercising – if you feel good in what you are wearing, you will have a better workout.  You will work harder.  Run in an old ratty college shirt, and you will probably feel old and ratty and not like you can conquer the world.  Run in a cute, matching, fitting outfit and you will feel like you can do anything.  this is a fact. This may also justify my pre-race lululemon purchases 😉  that’s also for another post.  I may or may not have gone to lululemon.  two times.  in one day.  it is a strong possibility.  Anyway, get the outfit out, put together, ready to go.  Get your race fuel out, ready to go.  Get your breakfast ready, if you can.  I drink iced coffee, not hot – I usually make that the night before so I can get up and start drinking early.  coffee that is.  Get everything – iPod, if you run with music, sneakers, socks, race bib, race information – have it all ready and set so that you are not running around on the way out the door trying to find a sock. 

6- take a breath.  have fun.  I am totally that person that obviously makes a bigger deal out of everything than is necessary on any level, ie: pace/finish time calculations, tracking weather patterns, looking up past years results, normal things like that.  I remind myself constantly to Keep it Fun.  I do this for fun and because it makes me happy.  I do want to keep it that way.  let the craziness and any anxiousness roll away. 


What are some of your pre-race preparation tips and tricks? 

What kind of miles is everyone putting in this weekend? 

Is there a specific food you like to eat before every race you do? 



About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

6 responses »

  1. I pretty much do the same things as you, sleep, hydrate, lay everything out the night before, I also make sure I attach the timing chip to my shoe……
    The night before a race, I like to eat my homemade pizza. It seems to do the job. In the morining I’ll eat 2 slices of toast (I’ve been using gluten-free) with peanut butter and banana. And of course one cup of coffee.
    My last half (which was my PR) I set up my Garmin to “alarm” me if I dropped below a certain pace. This was extremely helpful and helped me get my PR. I’ve also used a pace tat. You can order them online. It is a temporary tatoo with your goal time and mile splits. I put it on the inside of my wrist. (this was before i had my garmin!) I thought it was a clever idea!
    Good Luck!

  2. Girl you’re not crazy, I do a lot of these things pre race too. The numbers run through my mind from the moment I think about registering the race until the time I cross the finish line. I think of races most of the time as an investment where I like to get the most bang for my buck.

    Ran a half marathon last spring where there were 35-40 mph winds combined with freezing rain. Honestly it was tough and obviously the race had to be less about the numbers and more about finishing in one piece. But the thing that I kept telling myself is that everyone is running in the same conditions which made me man up a bit.

    Best wishes for you and your race! You’ll do great!

  3. What is that amazing filtered water bottle thing you have and where can I get one? Good luck today! You will kill it or kill yourself trying to kill it!

    • I will have to look up the exact name, but I think it’s called aqua vessel – I got it on amazon, and it has a filter in it. It was expensive, but worth it, I think. I’ll do a post/review on it. 🙂


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