My Pre- and Post-Race Rituals

Thanks for all the congrats on my new half marathon PR! One of my coworkers today was asking what I do the morning of races, so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I eat/drink/do the same thing in the morning on every race day with little variation, even when traveling to races. (I even packed a tupperware of cereal to D.C. this year.) Some of it is a little personal, but I really think it alllll contributes to a good race day.

Pre-Race Rituals

  • I wake up and do my business. Ahem.
  • I take a shower. It’s not to get clean since I’m just gonna get dirty, but I like how it warms up my muscles and wakes me up. I usually do some quick stretches for my hamstrings, quads and calves too, while under the hot water. John got me hooked on taking pre-race showers; the first time I took a pre-race shower after his recommendation, I set a my first big half marathon PR that shocked me so now I’m a little superstitious about it.
  • I drink a big glass of water and drink a cup of coffee.
  • I eat breakfast – a bowl of Mesa Sunrise cereal with 1/2 banana sliced on top and unsweetened almond milk or my granola muffins are my go-to.
  • More business.
  • Out the door, with a mug of tea for the road if I can. (I did today.)
  • Once I get to the race, I line up for the porta-potties for my final business. (My multiple business meetings are attributed to pre-race nerves. This is not normal for me.)
  • I line up according to pace; the fastest pace group yesterday was 1:45 so I ended up being pretty darn close to the start line. At big races, I’m usually in the first or second corral.
  • 10 minutes before race time, I turn on my Garmin to find a signal.
  • 5 minutes before race time, I turn on my music (myΒ Spotify Hard Running playlist), and I start shaking out my legs. I didn’t even realize I do this before races until my mom pointed it out to me a few years ago. I think it’s more of a nervous tick more than anything, but maybe it helps loosen me up? Who knows.
  • Gun goes off, I run. πŸ™‚

Post-Race Rituals (most of these I wrote about in more detail yesterday)

  • Food, usually lots of protein
  • Adult beverage πŸ™‚
  • Epsom Salt Bath
  • Nap
  • And, I’m adding to the list today, a date with The Stick. My calves are so sore today. I can barely walk down stairs!

IMG 5546I haven’t used this in months. I mean to…I really do. But I just forget about it, or when I remember I’m too busy doing things to avoid using it. It’s really not that bad. Much less painful than foam rolling I think. I’ve got to work on my calves and hamstrings though; I’m hurting. (If your’e not familiar with the stick, you run it over your muscles with some pressure to help release muscle tension.)

What are your pre- and post-race rituals? Don’t be shy! πŸ˜‰

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  • Reply

    I have nothing useful to contribute to this except I died laughing at “business meeting” … actually, I haven’t done a race in a while, but before early morning soccer games I lovvvvve a small cup of very fatty coffee, like, very strong and sweet with whole milk or cream, but I usually can’t eat because I sleep too late!

  • Reply

    Coffee, bananas + AB and multiple “business” stops are always on the agenda for me! I hate the long port-a-potty lines before the race!!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      I love AB but always worried it would sit too heavy before a race. It doesn’t bother you, I assume??

      • Reply

        As long I don’t eat too much of it I do ok! (and as long as it’s not like 30 minutes before the race!)

  • Reply

    I have found that doing some pre-race strides and a quick jog make me feel more warmed up before racing! I don’t know if this is physiological or psychological–ha!–but it makes my legs (and my brain) feel more ready. And I am totally with you on shaking my legs at the start! Why do we do that?! And congrats on your new PR lady!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      strides definitely help! I either forget to do them, or when I think to do them I can’t find a good spot to or I get too self conscious!! I feel like only really serious runners can get away with that, but I have no idea why I think that! I never judge anyone that I see doing it!!

      ha! I love that you shake your legs too! Seriously, why do we??

      And thanks for the congrats! πŸ™‚

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