Pre-Race Tips

It's Important to Prepare for Every Race!

The Night Prior

  • Eat a regular dinner. Nothing too heavy or out of the ordinary. “What goes in, must come out!” At this point, the whole “carb” loading thing is really irrelevant.
  • Select an outfit in which you’ve run a long distance prior to the race (no new clothing)


  • Warm up and stretch
  • Use chafe stick or vaseline – it’s hot, and you’ll likely have some chaffing in this humidity
  • Wear sunscreen – hard to think of in the dark hours when you’re getting ready!
  • If you’re one who needs pitstops, cut off fluids about 1.5 hours before the race
  • Eat a few hundred calories 1 – 1.5 hours before the race (banana, bagel with pb, etc….)
  • Make sure watch is charged properly
  • Set a realistic goal based on your fitness level (don’t pick a random but respectable, rounded time you’d like, such as 1:50)
  • Use the Garmin stopwatch’s feature and download a race band ( to show your splits if not using a pacer. Garmins are not accurate! I’ve learned this the hard way.

Queuing Up

  • Run with a pacer! Whether you listen to music or not, a good pacer will focus you with light talk, advice, fun, and focus points for each mile)
  • Line up according to your goal pace and remind yourself not to go out too fast. You’ll pass many at the end…don’t be tempted!
  • Double tie shoelaces (really!…people forget this!)
  • Do positive self talk (“I have trained hard, I’m going to “kill” this race,” etc…)
  • Remind yourself to have fun and to make this a memorable experience! …not everyone can run 13.1 or 26.2 miles!


  • If you don’t run with a pacer, try to run even splits with each mile. This method works better than banking time.
  • Drink a small amount at each fluid station, even if you’re not thirsty. I recommend not stopping, rather dump out some of the water, pinch the cup together and drink a bit while you keep running at a slightly slower pace.
  • If they offer GU or fuel or you pack your own, you need to take this 45 minutes before you need it! So, plan to take one (if you think you’ll need it) around miles 7 and 14. If you wait until the hard miles, it’s too late. Don’t use GU unless you’ve trained with it, however.
  • Smile…especially to spectators! Truly this helps you to relax and perform