10 Things To Do Before Your Race

So, you signed up for a race! All right!! Let’s do this.

But before you show up to the starting line here are

10 things you should do before Race Day:

1. Get to the expo to grab your bib, tee shirt and several handfuls of Clif bar samples.

long beach marathon expo t shirt booth (800x450)

2. Carb load.

delicious crepe (800x450)

3. Figure out your race day strategy. Set your “A, B, C” goals and a plan for how to get there. Think of a mantra to say to yourself when it gets tough.

go jesus go (450x800)

4. Charge your electronics.

10 things to do before a marahton (450x800)

5. Kiss your toenails goodbye.

Bonus: Literally kissing them is a nice pre-race stretch Winking smile

kiss your toe nails goodbye (800x800)

6. Set out your Race Day gear,

things to do before marathon (800x450)

sunblock and other needs.

marathon sunblock (450x800)

7. Pack your race day bag. I include things like: a plastic bag for my super sweaty stuff, comfy clothes and procompression socks.

marathon bag (450x800)

8. Set out your fuel, pre-run food and anything else you want to carry with you. marathon fuel (800x450)

9. Plan how to get to the starting line. Remember – streets will be closed near the course and freeway off ramps might be jammed. Also – plan where you will meet your family & friends after the race.

long beach marathon map (800x450)

10. No seriously, carb load.

carb load (800x800)

Hey, if I can’t win the actual race I bet I can win the “best carb-loader” award!

Good luck!

Question: What is one thing you do before a race every time?


  1. says

    Awesome advice! I love a good carbo load and I go through my gear bag at least ten times. For running races I’m not quite as diligent, but for tri’s where the amount of gear increase about a million fold, it’s super necessary.

  2. says

    After make sure devices are charged, make sure to unplug them and take them with you in the morning. Did I make sure to pack and charge it this weekend? Yes. Too bad I forgot to bring it to the race. I rock.

  3. says

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that, I’ve been training as a carb loader for a lot of years. In fact, I got into running just for the carbs. Oh yeah. So naturally I carb it up before a race but let’s be honest that’s not very different from what I normally do…

  4. says

    Good list. The night before the night before I make sure to get a really really good night of sleep, since the night before’s sleep is always questionable.

  5. says

    Hahahaha! Love the carbo loading photo 😉 That’s totally me too – eat ALL the bread! And I need to remember the sunscreen next time… I have the funkiest suntan lines on my legs and my face got a little fried.

  6. says

    Hahah. Love this! It is a humorous and helpful list. Carb loading is one of THE BEST parts of racing! I’m excited about carb loading for my half next week!

  7. says

    One week before go time I get, or give myself, a pedi. That way if I cut a nail too short or, as happens often to me, the girl cuts my skin with the file it has a few days to calm down.

    5 Days before I stop drinking all alcohol and two days before I give myself a mani in a color that matches the outfit, but it has to be either sparkly or metallic.

    The morning of I get up two hours before I have to leave the house and eat banana cream oatmeal and have one cup of coffee.

    Always the same no matter the race distance. It’s what works for me and helps me stay calm since I still get super excited about every start line!

  8. says

    Can i say stress out no matter how prepared I am (or not!)?!?! 😛

    Anyway, I usually take time out the night before to spend some quiet time with myself and pray.

  9. Tara says

    Ugh, its only Thurs, my race is Sunday and my stomach is already a mess with nerves! Its funny how I can run every weekend my half distance, but thinking about doing it on race day totally gets me anxious!?
    Thanks for all the tips, need to start getting in MORE water daily and stretching!

  10. says

    Haha – love this list! I have a race this weekend that I actually have to travel for, for the first time ever, and I’m super nervous I’m going to forget something. It’s also the first time I wont be spending the night before the race in my own bed. Somehow, that worries me more than anything else….except for maybe getting long on the way to the starting line. I need to go check a map again…

  11. says

    That is some pretty serious prep work there I don’t run, not because I don’t want to or don’t like to, but because I can’t…bad knees. I can appreciate running though because I can remember what it was like to run (when I was in school). I just marvel at the dedication you guys have to the sport.

  12. Shannon in Tustin says

    Hydrate like a boss the day prior. All day long, I keep refilling my water cup even though I spend half the day peeing. I eat the same meal before every race: pasta lightly coated with marinara and a little bit of chicken Italian sausage from Sprouts.

    Have fun in PA with SR! :)

  13. says

    This is a great list! I also find it’s helpful to make a list of all the things you want to bring and what you need to do. That way (as an earlier commented mentioned) you don’t remember to charge your tech, but then forget to pack it!

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