It’s the night before your big race and you have laid out all of your essential running gear. Are you prepared as you think? Here are five tips that will leave you confident you can tackle the miles ahead of you successfully.
1. Prepare for the course: Know the course you are running. If possible, run the course or a run similar to the course before race day (minus some mileage if it is marathon length). The elevation and length of a course can be determined at some popular websites like: Map My Run or Walk Jog Run. Find out if the course has rolling hills, long flats and what the total elevation change is. You can then plan a course that is similar to the one you are running and prepare for the changes you will encounter before the big day.
2. Pace yourself. You will be excited come race day. Your blood will be pumping and the adrenaline will be flowing. Make sure you do not start out too fast. Know what your pace times are and stick to them. Find your pace runner if you are running with a certain time group and stick with them. You may feel really good (tapering for a race leaves you feeling fanstastic), but save it for the later miles. You will need it.
3. Know how to run the race. Flat portions should be run steady. Hills can be attacked. As you reach the crest of a hill, increase your cadence, and speed up slightly. Use this momentum to carry you over the hill and down the other side, like a sling effect.
4. Pick a runner, distance or location to reach if you feel you are having difficulty keeping your pace during the race. This will allow you to refocus mentally and set some smaller reachable goals, rather than focusing on the large task at hand.
5. As you near the finish line, use the crowd to motivate you the last couple miles.