Although a lot changed when it came to mass events over the last few years, when it comes to race preparation, a lot didn’t change. However, it’s time this post got an update since I first wrote in way back in 2016.
Over the years, lists and guides like this one have been crucial to ensuring I’m fully prepared for each and every race or event I’ve registered for. From swimming, to bike packing, or duathlon to 10km races… if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
There’s plenty to think about – what to wear on race day, what will you eat or what to take with you while running. I’ve got you covered with this simple “do one thing a day” , race preparation guide.
Your 6 Day Countdown Guide For Race Preparation
The best way to use this guide is to have a read through fully, then pop your email in below to get a PDF version of the guide including a one sheet check-list where you can make notes about your own preparation.
Monday: Pick Your Kit (And Get It Washed)
Your first race preparation task is to choose your race day kit. The golden rule is to make sure all of your kit is tried and tested – nothing new on race day!
Find everything now; from socks, underwear, rain jacket to water bottle, headphones and your favourite pair of run tights.
If anything needs washing, get it done tonight. Otherwise, find a corner where you can put everything you will need on race morning. This is a good time to double check your paperwork too and store your wristbands / paperwork with your kit so it’s easy to find on Sunday morning.
Tuesday: Plan Your Journey
By now, any rail works or closures will have been announced so it’s the perfect time to check transport to find the fastest and easiest route. You can also use options like hire bikes which could make for a good warm up pre race, if you don’t have to cycle too far.
Leave enough time in your journey plan to allow for delays and give you time to get to the bag drop (where there potentially will be queues) and for a bathroom pit stop before the start. I spent 30minutes queuing for the bathroom at my last race with meant I started 30 minutes later than planned.
Wednesday: Race Day Breakfast / Race Fuel
This is another one of those “stick to what you know” times. If your race really is in a few days it’s a bit too late for you otherwise here are 3 race day breakfasts that I swear by. Some good options are porridge, a banana or a bagel with peanut butter.
Now is a good time to think about how to fuel your actual race too. If you use hydration tablets, make sure they’re added to your pile. If you’re running 10k or less, typically you won’t need gels, but if you’re using them, add them to your pile now too.
Don’t forget to pack a snack in your bag for post race too. It’s always a life-saver until you can get your first proper meal in.
Check you have everything you need; if not, order a food delivery, check Amazon or pop to the shops in your lunch break today.
Thursday: Check The Weather
Although the weather can still change, it’s worth checking it a few days out and ensure you have the kit options you might need in your pile.
Think about things like hats, visors or shoes for warmer weather; rain jacket or change of clothes incase of rain; and extra layers for post run, or a bin bag for the start line if it might be cold.
Friday: Start Getting Hydrated
It’s never too early to start thinking about your hydration but today is a good time to kick it up a notch or two. Increasing your fluid intake will keep you well hydrated and help with energy levels and recovery in the lead up to race day.
You don’t have to stick with plain water – try sparkling water, coconut water or fruit squash. Although tea and coffee do count, they can be dehydrating in large quantities.
Saturday: Shake Out Run
You’re one day out and it’s time to remind your legs what you need them to do on race day. First things first, now is a good time to check your GPS watch is updated so it connects swiftly to the satellites on race morning – tomorrow!
Keep this run short – between 2-5km – and easy. Then, chill out, rest your legs and catch a movie before doing your best to get a good nights sleep.
Sunday: Race Day – Let’s Do This!
Now this is the best part – where you get to put all of your training into action and enjoy the race itself. Remember, if you’ve trained well, that’s a huge part of your journey and these last kms are just the finish line.
Get your eye on the prize and wear your medal with pride ALL DAY LONG!
Got any other race perpetration tips to add to this list?
Lily Lipstick says
I can't believe the Winter Run is tomorrow! Feel like winter race prep needs a little more thought than those summer races – keeping fingers crossed for the weather…
Elle Linton says
…and just like that, 10k is in the bag! Was great to meet you today Lily!! 🙂 x
Christine Parizo says
I always check the weather the day before and do my shakeout run two days in advance. Houston weather changes in the blink of an eye 🙂
Elle Linton says
Sounds like you have a good little pre race prep routine going!! …same here in London! One minute it's snowing, then the next it's Spring! haha!
I set out my kit and pin race numbers etc the night before and check to make sure you have charged your Garmin! it has happened to me when I realised in the morning the battery had gone flat 🙁
Elle Linton says
yes! flat battery is the worse! I put the "update you gps" on the night before so hopefully peeps end up charging it at the same time! 🙂
Scallywag Sprints says
Carb loading perhaps? The only thing I'd say is that in terms of carb loading (as far as I'm aware. Disclaimer: i'm no expert) current research is suggesting you up them a little for the days prior, not that you eat miles of pasta the night before. :)Great tips! I'll be using them pre-Liverpool!
Elle Linton says
In that case, carb loading starts tomorrow! hahaha! …kidding. But I have already planned my meals of next week and added a couple extra "carb (re)fuel meals" in the days leading up to the race. And post race too 🙂 …it's a good un though! thanks for the reminder!