It’s the end of May and what a busy and varied month of running it has been- club championship races, fell races, Harrogate League, time trial- there has been a lot to juggle and prepare for in a short space of time.  How did your preparation go? Did you leave yourself enough time to get to the start line comfortably?  Did you have everything you needed? 

While putting in the training can help you build confidence and stay injury-free, being prepared can help you arrive at the start line stress-free and in control.

On reflection, I think I was better prepared for events when I first started out running compared to recent years.  Maybe it’s complacency.  So I thought I would share three race day tips and where things went wrong for me so that hopefully you can avoid something similar happening to you.  While much of the focus is on big city events/ marathons, these tips can be applied to pretty much any event:

Register on a working day if you can

Some races have an event expo where runners need to register and collect their race number before race day.  It probably won’t come as a surprise to know that expo’s tend to be quieter on weekdays (when most are working) compared to weekends.  At this years Boston Marathon, I could only register with the masses on a Saturday afternoon.  It took nearly one hour of queueing to collect my race number.

Prepare ‘flat me/ flat lay’

This means laying out all of your kit, and packing a bag for the finish, before race day.  This can save a fair amount of time, stress and energy when you can’t find what you need.  I once woke up on the morning of the London Marathon and realised I didn’t have any contact lenses.  What happened next is a long story with a good ending as I managed to post my personal best time which still stands today.

Be organised

There is a lot that happens in between waking up on the morning of a race to crossing the start line, and time can very quickly disappear if you haven’t factored it all in.  I like to break each component down and allocate a time to it, add it all up, add an extra half an hour for any last minute hiccups, and voila, I have an idea of what time I need to set my alarm.