Sound to Narrows: 6 tips to keep you relaxed for race day
Sound to Narrows is Saturday, June 8 at Vassault Park in Tacoma. It’s not too late to register.
Though most of us have tried running at some point in our lives, not everyone has signed up for a road race such as Sound to Narrows. The days leading up to a race — not to mention the morning of — can make a first timer quite nervous. Some long-time runners still get anxious before a race.
Here are six tips to keep you relaxed for race day.
1. Learn the route beforehand
In the days leading up to any race, it’s helpful to not only familiarize yourself with a map of the race, but also walk or run the route yourself. A map will help you with general directions, but if you want to know where the hardest parts of the route are, you’re going to have to experience it firsthand. Doing so will help determine when to push yourself and when to save energy during the race.
Learning the race beforehand will keep you calm during the day of the race because you’ve already seen everything the route is going to throw at you. No surprises will be coming your way on race day.
2. Eat smart
Don’t eat a giant plate of pasta the day before the race. Unless you’re consistently eating large amounts of carbs in one sitting, your body will have to make some major adjustments to this new increase in food consumption. You may experience a stomachache the night before the race and cramping during the run.
Instead, eat smaller portions of carbs over the entire day before the race. Do this and you’ll meet race day with a fully fueled body that won’t cramp up or ache.
3. Arrive early
Get to the race early so that you aren’t panicking when trying to find the information booths, bathrooms, vendors and race start. Finding all these important landmarks is much easier when not blocked by crowds of people. Once you’ve established where everything is, do some warm-up exercises or just relax before the race starts.
4. Stay hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated leading up to the race, but avoid taking big swigs of water or sports drinks in the 30 minutes before the start of the race. Drinking too much may lead to cramps early in the race, which will make it all the more difficult to stay focused when running.
Small sips over a longer period of time will keep you cramp free.
5. Don’t dress too warm
When you arrive for the race it will be early, and yes, it will most certainly be chilly, which will make the morning anything but comfortable. But keep in mind that once the race starts you will quickly heat up from all the movement and work your body is doing. If you’re wearing too many garments during the race you’ll just end up stripping the layers off and having to carry them — or tossing them aside without a promise of getting them back.
As a rule of thumb, dress for weather that is 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.
6. Check your pace
As tempting as it is to blow everyone out of the water during the start of the race, stay reserved in your running pace. For the first 10 percent of the race, run slower than you normally would while keeping in mind that you will finish the race strong. Go too hard or “chase” the fastest runners during the start and you won’t have any gas in the tank for the second half of the race.
We hope these tips help you run a successful Sound to Narrows. We can’t wait to see you out there. Register for Sound to Narrows
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