3. Run efficiently.
It may be tempting to take the scenic route on race day, but if you run the long way around every turn, it can translate into running more miles at the end. And they are not going to give you credit for running 27.2 miles! Think like an elite athlete and run the tangents at every turn on the course. A tangent is a straight line just outside the curve (or as close to the curve while still on the road).
At every aid station, perform a head-to-toe form inventory to prevent poor form and energy waste. Think about having your head forward, relaxed shoulders, arms swinging like pendulum and your hands gently clenched. Keep your hips under your shoulders and your feet landing with quick strides under the hips. Keep your mind actively engaged in running the course and you'll complete the race distance--and do so with good form.
4. Pace yourself.
Control the things you can. Forget about everything else. The most common mistake newbies and seasoned runners make on race day is to get caught up in the excitement and go out way too fast in the first few miles. Doing so makes for a fantastic 10K and a miserable finish.
Invest in the final 10K of the race by pacing yourself and running the first half slightly slower (5-10seconds/mile) than the second half of the race. Reserving your energy for the second half allows you to have the mental and physical stamina to go fishing in the final miles. That is, mentally casting your fishing hook towards the guy in the red shirt ahead of you and reeling him in (please pass nicely). And my friends, there is nothing more fun than having the stamina to pass people in the final miles of a race. Invest in it. It's worth it.
5. Go with what the day brings.
You never know what race day will bring until you're in the middle of it. It could end up being a perfect weather day, and you run the race of your life. Or, you could wake up to 30 mile per hour winds and sleet and struggle to reach the finish line. Show up with a flexible game plan and adjust as needed because in the end, it's all about performing your best on that day. Fast or slow, every finish should be celebrated as it is a significant accomplishment and one that most can't even begin to imagine.Sign up for your next race.