Start of the LA Marathon Photo by: Rich Cruse
With race season quickly approaching getting ready and prepared for a race is on every runners' mind. Take your time the days preceding race day to make sure you have all aspects of the upcoming race planned out. This can include the clothes you'll be wearing, transportation to and from the race, and when you will pick up your bib and chip for the race from the race expo.
Before the race starts, you must attend the expo to pick up your bib number and chip that will time you during the race. Allow enough time to find parking, attend the expo and perhaps pick up any last minute items you might need for the race from the expo. These could include any type of fuel that you might need during your run. Often there are other races promoting their race at the expo and checking out other events, the running apparel and souvenirs can be entertaining.
Once you get home, be sure to attach your timing chip to your shoe immediately so that you don't forget it come race morning. Race morning can be hurried and frantic for many, so another aspect to help calm the nerves is to lay out the clothing you want to race in. When choosing clothes to race in, you may want to think about wearing bright colors so that any spectator you may have invited to the race can easily spot you on the course. Another aspect to consider is wearing something that you've ran a long distance in before. The last thing you need to happen race day is a terrible case of chafing or some type of wardrobe malfunction. Laying out your clothes makes getting dressed efficient race morning and there are no last minute decisions to be made. You can also do this with the food you will want to bring with you or eat race morning as well. Make sure that you have enough safety pins for your bib number and that all electronics that will be used for the race are totally charged.
Lastly and most importantly is the transportation logistics of the race. Make sure that you know how your're getting to the starting line. If you have opted to drive yourself, remember to consider the fact that you will have run a far distance and that may affect your ability to drive. If you have a friend driving you to the start, make sure you know how to get to the starting line, taking into account the road closures for the race and also consider parking. When a large number of race participants descend on one area, parking may be minimal. Usually a larger race will have specific maps with parking locations listed on their website. Allow yourself plenty of time to get there, feeling rushed and frantic race morning will just increase nerves and may interfere with your race mind-set. Make sure you also have a designated meeting place or form or contact for the person taking you home after the race as well.
Check out the slideshow below for more hints and tips to get ready for your big race day!