303: 10 Tips for Race Day Success

RACE MORNING CHECKLIST - 10 points to get you from the alarm clock to the starting gun


  1. Have something to eat depending on your stomach tolerances. 
    • Last night’s dinner is still fueling you. 
    • Aim for 200-300 easily digestible calories about 2 hours before the race.  
    • Fats and proteins take longer to digest and can lead to stomach issues later. 
    • If you normally skip breakfast, try some sports drink to get in some fuel. 
  1.   Have something to drink. 
    • If you normally drink coffee, now is not the time to change that program.  
    • Take in some water to top off your hydration.  This should be at least 12 oz.  You may not want it, but just drink it.  
  1.   Protect your body. 
    •  Sunscreen and BodyGlide are often best applied before you get to the race in the privacy of your home. 
    •   If you have ever had chafing issues and do not know BodyGlide, please get some. 
  2.   Get dressed and grab your running bag that you packed the night before.  
    •  Put on: shorts, shirt with race number attached, socks, shoes, watch
    •   Cold outside?  Add old sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt, sweatpants, hat and gloves that you are comfortable with tossing mid-race
  3. Get to the race. 
    • Aim to arrive, parked and actually at the race 60 minutes ahead of the gun.  
    • If this is a full or half marathon, add 15-30 minutes.
  1. Warm up 45-60 minutes before the race.  Large races always need extra time. 
    • Go for a very easy 5-10 minute run - the shorter the race the longer the pre-race jog.
    • Go through some basic running drills and stay relaxed.  
  1. Use the facilities.  
    • There is going to be a line, and you may need your own toilet paper. 
    • Try to go, even if you don't feel inspired.  It's better now than mid-race. 
  1. Use the gear check if this is a large race, or put your bag in your car. 
    • With 30 minutes before the start, grab a final drink of water before you stash your bag.  
  1. Run a few strides before you are trapped into the starting corral.
    • I like to get in 4-6 before I race to get my heart rate up and my mind ready for speed.  Just go for 10 seconds.  This is 15-30 minutes before the starting gun depending on step 10.  
  1. Get into the starting chute.  This is about 10 minutes out for a small race. 
    • This will be 30 minutes for a larger race and could be over an hour for a very large race. 
    • Once you are trapped, stay loose with drills in place and hopping.
    • In the final minutes, take a few deep breaths and visualize your race. 
    • Imagine you are racing well, picture the hard portions, see yourself overcoming the challenges.  
    • Race well.  



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Don't forget: The information on this website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical condition or to provide medical advice. It is intended for general education in the areas of health and wellness. All information contained in this site is intended to be educational in nature. Nothing should be considered medical advice for your specific situation.