The First-Timers’ Guide to Race Week

Five Days Before Your Race
If you do any sort of strength training as a supplement to your running, this should be your last strength workout for the week—and don't go heavy. Your race performance will surely suffer if you make yourself sore at this point or (gasp!) injure yourself lifting. Follow the same nutrition advice as for day six.  

Four Days Before Your Race
Persist in doing nothing. You're anxious about the race. We get it. But the best thing you can do is as little as possible. Keep rockin' the nutrition and leave the liquor cabinet locked. Try meditating away that nervous energy.  

Start cutting back a little each day on any foods that might give you digestive trouble.

Three Days Before Your Race
Start prioritizing rest. Try to stay off your feet a little more than usual, and make it a point to get to bed a little earlier each night from here until race day. Continue optimizing your nutrition, but start cutting back a little each day on any foods that might give you digestive trouble. Keep some fruits and vegetables in your diet, but reduce the fiber just a bit by opting for more refined grains rather than whole grains and take a break from lentils and legumes. Likewise, avoid the opposite issue by dialing back on dairy, which can have a binding affect on some, and red meats, which move through the digestive system more slowly than other foods.

Two Days Before Your Race
Do laundry. Make sure you have your well-tested running gear ready to go. Round up the shorts, shirt, socks, shoes and any other clothing items you'll wear on race day. Go shopping for any Gu, gel, sports drinks or other supplements you'll need if you're running a longer race. Be sure to only use brands and flavors you have practiced with in training!

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