Race Day Tips to Enjoy Race Day!

Use these race day tips to enjoy race day! Ensure it is a pleasant day and create a wonderful memory.

The day of the race has finally arrived. You have done all the hard work -- completed the training, did the early morning runs, ran in all sorts of weather conditions, agonized over missing a few training runs -- and you survived it all! This is your race day to enjoy. Use these racing tips and have your best run ever!

You may be feeling a little worried or anxious about race day. These are normal emotions that all runners experience on or before race day. If you are really feeling stressed about it, you may be suffering from performance anxiety.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy the day of the race. These race day tips will help you prepare properly, but no matter what happens today, there will always be another race to run. Take a deep breath and just have fun. It will make for an enjoyable race day experience!

"Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards." 

-- Alberto Salaza

Race Day Tips

Use these race day tips to make the most of your race day experience:

  • Your last week of training should include tapering or reducing the amount of training. For a good performance on the day of the race, you need to give your body a chance to rest and recover by having a low mileage week prior to the race. This will ensure you are in top performing condition on race day.
  • Hydrate well the last few days before the race. Remember that caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you. Ensure that you eat plenty of carbs and limit your intake of fat.
  • Pick up your race kit as soon as possible. You don't want any last minute panic sessions.
  • Mentally prepare yourself. Use a Race Visualization Exercise to help you achieve your running goals and alleviate any performance anxiety.
  • Use positive affirmations. Select one or more positive affirmations to use during the race. Have confidence in your training. You have completed your training program so you know you are ready.
  • Learn how to relax and practice keeping your body relaxed while running. It will help you run injury free.
  • Don't try anything new on the day of the race. This includes gels, sports drinks, shoes, breakfast food, etc. Everything you do should have already been tried and tested during training. If not, stick to your original plan and run as you did in training. You don't know how your body will react to a new product and it could ruin race day. If your stomach cannot tolerate energy gels or sports drinks, try using natural race fuel
  • Get everything ready the night before to avoid the stress and tension of rushing around in the morning. Select your clothes and remember to dress for the race as if it is 10-15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. That is how warm you will be during the race. If it is going to be hot, learn How to Prepare for Running In Hot Weather. Pin or attach your racing bib to your clothes, decide on breakfast and set your alarm. Pack your bag to include your warm up gear and other supplies you may need: water belt, chafing stick, gels, sports drinks, water, etc.
  • A garbage bag or black sack is a great disposable bag to carry items to the race. It can double as rain protection if needed to keep you dry before the race. Just cut a hole in the bottom big enough for your head to fit through and cut holes for your arms if you decide to leave it on for part of the race.

More Race Day Tips...

  • Arrive at the race site early and do a short warm up. If possible, do this at the last portion of the race route. This will give you a great visual image of you crossing the finish line feeling strong, smiling and having the best experience you could possibly imagine!
  • Line up in your correct starting position. If you are too far in front, it may feel demoralizing for you when the faster runners pass you. If you are too far back, the slower runners will slow you down. Do a fair assessment of your expected finishing time and line up accordingly.
  • Keep your pace even during the race. Don't be tempted to start out fast to keep up with the crowd. Do your own race at your own pace. Use this running pace calculator to help you stay on track. You can always go faster in the last part of the race if your energy level allows it.
  • Stop and drink at the water stations. You need to stay hydrated and short walk breaks provide many benefits including injury prevention.
  • Take scheduled walk breaks if that is how you trained. You may want to coordinate your walk breaks with the water stations.
  • Repeat your positive affirmations during the race. Most runners go through a period of negativity on the day of the race. Thoughts creep in such as: Why am I doing this? Why do I put myself through this? They may even consider dropping out of the race. This may happen to you too. Positive affirmations will help you through this tough period and will overpower the negative thoughts to ensure you have a positive race day experience.
  • Run on the inside of curves and turns in the road whenever possible to make the race distance as short as possible. Remember what you learned in your mathematics class: "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line." Every second counts in a race!
  • If you start to feel tired, try using shorter strides and a quicker turnover. This will make for a more efficient use of your energy.
  • Maintain a good running posture throughout the race. When you start to feel fatigued, you will be inclined to slouch. This makes running more difficult and requires more energy. Keep upright and smile as you cross the finish line.
  • When you have finished the race, embrace the moment. You have done it -- you have achieved your goal and you feel great! Enjoy the moment as you walk around the finishing area to give your body a chance to cool down  and help your muscles relax.

Re-hydrate and have a snack as soon as possible to aid recovery. There are usually water and recovery snacks provided at the finish line. Socialize with your fellow runners and share your wonderful race day experience! You may have some great race day tips that you want to share to help others. 

Then there is only one thing left to think about...What race are you going to do next?


Articles related to race day tips: 

Performance Anxiety

Running Pace Calculator

Visualization Techniques

Positive Affirmations

Hot Weather Running

Natural Race Fuel


Back to top of Race Day Tips

Return to Running Tips



FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying  purchases. Learn more.


Comments! Questions?

Don’t see the comments box below? Log in to your Facebook account, give FB cookie consent if requested, then return to this page and refresh it.

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment or question in the box below.

If you like this page, please share it below or add your comments.



Solo Build It!

Recent Articles

  1. How to Avoid a Stress Fracture Injury!

    May 10, 22 06:53 AM


    How to avoid a stress fracture injury and what to do if you have one. It needs to be identified quickly so you can get back running sooner.

    Read More

  2. Happy to be running on a holiday resort again!

    Apr 27, 22 07:26 AM


    It was interesting to be running in Sharm El Sheikh again after the pandemic. The resorts are beautiful here but signs of economic depression caused by the pandemic and airport security concerns prio…

    Read More

  3. Got black toenails from running?

    Apr 19, 22 11:03 AM


    Got Black Toenails from Running? Learn how to treat and prevent them!

    Read More

  4. Make Your Own Natural Race Fuel

    Apr 05, 22 11:41 AM


    As runners we need to fuel our bodies with energy boosting foods and fortifying drinks to keep us going strong and properly hydrated. Natural race fuel is a healthier and cheaper solution to provide…

    Read More

  5. How to Overcome Tiredness While Running

    Mar 27, 22 12:51 PM


    Has this ever happened to you? You have just started running and you realize that you feel really tired. Your body just doesn't want to move. You feel heavy, running feels very difficult and you don…

    Read More

  6. Use Quantum Physics to Run Injury Free!

    Mar 23, 22 01:22 PM


    Discoveries in quantum physics can be used to help us create a more desirable reality including running injury free. Find out how.

    Read More

  7. The Best Online Running Training Camp!

    Mar 11, 22 02:12 PM


    What if you could run without fighting your body or feeling hobbled by pain? Imagine instead that when you run your body feels smooth, flowing, and free of unwanted tension. And imagine a way of runn…

    Read More

  8. Use Active Isolated Stretching to prevent running injuries!

    Mar 09, 22 10:28 AM


    Are your stretches dynamic or static? Active Isolated Stretching promotes dynamic stretching when the muscle is relaxed rather than contracted. Evidence indicates that only a relaxed muscle can be st…

    Read More

  9. The Core Action Program for Runners and Triathletes

    Feb 27, 22 12:13 PM


    The Core Action Program for Runners and Triathletes helps you master the fundamentals of comfortable, healthy, efficient natural running form. This program is for runners who want to learn to run hea…

    Read More

  10. Running in Puerto Vallarta

    Feb 22, 22 10:08 AM

    Running in Puerto Vallarta and Boca de Tomatlan can be challenging. This is where I ran while on vacation.

    Read More