The hay is in the barn and you’ve trained hard all season. It’s time to taper down the mileage, and rest up for race day. Here are five simple ways to run better on race day.
1. Go with what you know.
As you begin to taper down towards race day, a funny thing can happen. Your ability to make simple decisions like what to eat and what to wear goes out the window. You might even begin to second guess yourself every step of the way. This condition is caused primarily by taper madness, or the time when the mileage decreases and you find yourself with way too much time to think.
More: 7 Tips to Taper Smart
Keep it simple and go with what you practiced. Every week has been a dress rehearsal for race week, and it is no time to try something new. Save the new cuisines and cute apparel you bought at the expo for after the race.
2. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
This is something I learned while toeing the line at the start of a nine-day continuous race through the jungle. Although you are well-prepared for race day, it can still be mentally overwhelming standing at the start line thinking about 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
More: How to Train for Your First Half Marathon
Develop a mental game plan and break the total distance into smaller, more digestible pieces. Divide the race distance by two and then again to equal four check points or think your way through specific locations on the course (aid stations, bands, landmarks). Creating a mental road map will ease your mind and keep your focus through the finish line.