It’s finally here. You’ve been training for months, clocking in countless miles on your running shoes, and fueling yourself with all the right stuff. And now, it’s all within close reach: the big race is tomorrow!
What you do on the day before your race can impact your game-day performance, so you’ll want to be mindful of what you’re doing—and what you’re not doing. Here are 8 tips for the eve of your race.
Do: Get a Good Sleep the Night Before the Night Before
Between the-night-before jitters and the super early wake-up call, you probably won’t get a great sleep the night before the race. That’s okay—as long as you get a great sleep the night before the night before. Turn down plans, turn off the TV, and get to bed nice and early two nights before your race.
Don’t: Wear Your Legs Out
With all the running you’ve been doing, it can be tough to sit still—but that’s exactly what you want to do the day before your race. For most people, a little walking is all you need to do on the eve of your race. If you feel as though you absolutely must run, keep it really short and really easy—save your energy for tomorrow.
Do: Have a Power Lunch
What you eat for lunch the day before you race definitely matters. Make this your last ‘big’ meal before your race and opt for a lighter dinner.
Pack in energy-delivering carbs, but choose them mindfully. Remember, there are a lot of healthy veggies packed with carbs, and that cream-based pasta sauce is going to weigh heavy on your stomach tomorrow.
Don’t: Eat Something New
The day before the race is not the time to get experimental with your diet. Stick to foods that you’ve eaten throughout your training to keep your digestive system happy.
Do: Review Your Strategy
Pull up the course map and go over your goals for the race. Being mentally prepared will help you avoid the start line freak out. This is also a great time to bust out your running inspiration, whether that be a favorite quote, a motivating photo, or a song that gets you moving.
Don’t: Leave Things to the Last Minute
You have enough to worry about the morning of the race, and you don’t want to add anything to that list, so get the kinks sorted out ahead of time. If you can, pick up your race bib the day before the race. Pull out your race-day outfit and make sure you’re not missing a sock. Pack your bag with all your must-haves. Confirm your transportation details. The more you do now, the less you’ll have to stress about later.
Do: Surround Yourself With Positivity
Distract yourself with fun (non-active) plans the day before the race, like catching up with an old friend, getting lost in a book, or binge-watching Breaking Bad. This is especially important for those of us who tend to get worked up before the big race. You’ve done all the work, so you might as well have some fun and keep your mind off the race!
Don’t: Go For Beers
Don’t have too much fun, though. Skip alcohol entirely the day before your race. It won’t do you any favors, plus it’ll make the post-race drink taste that much better.