10 Race-Day Preparation Tips

7. Warm Up

For a half or full marathon, the pre-race warm-up needs to be minimal. The warm-up should consist of dynamic movements not traditional stretch-n-hold stretches. Five minutes of brisk walking followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging makes a great dynamic warm-up for a half or full marathon. You've got many miles ahead of you. You want to be limber but not worn out before the start.

8. Cool Your Jets

It's very easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the start and before you know it you're running a minute faster than your race pace. Ignore the speedsters around you in the starting corral. Instead, focus on your race pace or even a slightly slower pace when the starting gun sounds. Around mile 18, you'll be glad you didn't burn up that precious fuel at the start.

More: 4 Steps to Your Perfect Pace

9. Have a Mantra

When climbing a tough hill or fighting off fatigue, having a mantra can help pull you through a tough stretch. Spend a little time before race day thinking of a few motivating mantras. Some good mantras include,

  • Can't stop. Won't stop.
  • The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
  • Not everybody can do this!
  • I am because I run. I run because I am.
  • One step at a time.
  • Be fierce. Be bold.
  • Run strong. Be brave.
  • Go light. Feel brave.
  • Think strong. Be strong. Run Strong.
  • Make mom proud!

10. Trust and Believe

There are always factors out of your control that may affect race day (crazy weather, extreme temperatures, illness, injury, etc.), but what you can control is your confidence. Trusting your training and believing in yourself as an athlete will help ensure that all the hard work you've put in over the past several months will shine through.

If that pesky voice of doubt begins to creep in, kick it to the curb! Even say it out loud. "Go Away!" Of course the runner beside you may think you're crazy, but hey, whatever works, right?

With the right race-day preparation, you'll finish with a smile and avoid any surprises on the course.

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