Over the past two months, I’ve worked with The Bachelor stars Molly and Jason Mesnick as they trained for the Las Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon. While both have run this 13.1-mile course before, this year Molly and Jason enlisted the support of Brooks to help them set new personal records.
Throughout their training, my colleague Jessica and I offered guidance on pacing and running form by email and when we joined Molly and Jason for their longer runs each Sunday.
Recently, while finishing one of our last long runs together, a 7-miler around Greenlake in Seattle, Jason asked what suggestions I had for preparation right before race day. These are the tips I shared:
- Do Not Try Anything New
This might sound like common sense, but the night before your next big race, don’t try anything new. This includes training, food, clothing or hydration methods. Eat whatever normal, fresh foods you would normally eat and go through your normal evening habits. If you change anything, just try going to bed a little early, particularly if you have an early start to your race. This is not the time to try any new recipes for dinner or new stretches before bed.
- Relax, Laugh & Rest
Whether you’ve trained for a 5K, half-marathon, marathon or beyond, your training is now done. The night before your race, just relax, maybe read before bed and conserve your energy for the next day. Try not to be nervous. You will perform just fine when you step to the starting line.
- Setup Your Gear
If you have the opportunity to pick-up your race number and packet before the morning of the race, this is ideal. The night before your race pin your bib number to your shirt or shorts, and layout your shoes, shirt and any energy gels or other supplies you’ll need for the race at the foot of your bed. When your alarm rings the following morning, just roll out of bed and put on the gear you’ve laid out. No stress or searching around. Another handy tip is to shake out your shoes the night before the race, removing, then replacing the sock beds to ensure no pebbles or dirt is trapped inside your shoes. This helps to ensure you have a fun, blister-free race. Lastly, if you run with a GPS watch, charge the watch, then place it in a shoe you will be running in so it is impossible for you to forget your watch in the morning.
- Set Your Alarm to Ring Early
This is another simple, but often forgotten tip. On race morning wake up 30-60 minutes earlier than you need to (and set multiple alarms). You’ll enjoy the extra time to eat breakfast, use the bathroom (twice if possible), visualize you race plans and travel to the starting line.