The First-Timers’ Guide to Race Week

Sure, there are plenty of articles full of practical race week tips of the "do this, not that" sort. 

Don't eat or drink anything out of the ordinary. Do scale back your training. Don't wear any new gear on race day. Do get yourself organized ahead of time. Each of these suggestions is viable and should be taken to heart, but we wanted to provide first-timers with a little more. 

So, in lieu of a series of fundamental suggestions like the ones above, we hope you can perfect your race week prep by using this detailed, day-by-day checklist as your guide.

Seven Days Before Your Race
Prioritize nutrition in your diet. Load up on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, ditch added sugars—which can make your energy spike and wane—and don't go crazy on the caffeinated beverages. You want to maintain an even keel energy-wise, all week. Though you may be in a festive mood with only a week to go until race day, alcohol is not your friend right now. Limit drinks to one per day, but zero is better.

There are no training benefits to be had inside of a week to race day.

Six Days Before Your Race
This is the last day you should go for a run, and you should make it a short, easy one. There are no training benefits to be had inside of a week to race day, so this is really just a check-in to see that things are working smoothly. If things aren't working smoothly, see if you can work out the kinks with a hot bath, some foam rolling, or splurge on a gentle massage.  

Continue to optimize nutrient-dense foods, and if your race is longer than a 10K, you can slightly increase simple carb calories beginning today. This does not give you license to eat a whole pizza or a dozen donuts; just grab an extra piece of bread with dinner, eat a banana with your morning oatmeal or enjoy a few handfuls of air-popped popcorn in the evening. 

  • 1
  • of
  • 3

Discuss This Article