Your half marathon race week is the week that you should be in a tapered pattern and everything needs to focus on winding down your runs, refueling, and resting. You’ve paid your dues and now is not the time to adjust anything or tweak anything. It’s time to coast into race day. Here are five things to remember race day week.
Leading up to your race you need to make sure that you are putting in the appropriate sleep time. whatever your body needs, by now you should know how much sleep your body requires. I always tell new runners that the night before your race you might not sleep so good due to anxiety and nerves. In order to counteract this try to get good sleep the entire week, especially two nights before your race. I’m the type of runner that sleeps absolutely horrible the night before a race. Most of my races are on about 3/4 of my normal sleep cycles.
If you follow a carb based fueling diet then you need to swap out a couple of servings of fruits and vegetables for some good carbs, such as whole grain bread and pasta. This is not the week to overeat. Notice I mentioned swapping out not supplementing with extra calories and servings. More than likely the week of your race you will gain a few pounds possibly. No need to worry though, you will lose them on race day.
Layout all of your race gear the night before. If you have the chance to pick up your packet earlier, do so, so you can pin it to your clothes. I have tried pinning my race bib on my shirt but found it much more comfortable to pin it on one leg side towards the upper area of my shorts. When I place the race bib on my shirt I tend to get chaffing on my nipple area. This is due to the amounts of sweat coupled with the extra weight of the bib rubbing against them.
If for some reason I have to pin the bib to my shirt, then I apply Glide to my upper chest area. This is a great product that really saves areas of your body from the chafe burn. On long-distance races, I have to use this stuff, and it works. There are alternative organic versions, but I haven’t tested those products.
Here are a few recommended chafe relief products:
During your training, you should have figured out how much extra fuel you need for the race and what fuel you can easily digest. Make sure you have your race fuel also set out for race day. I can easily stomach almost all gel brands, I guess I’m lucky. I tend to go with GU Energy Gels which you can easily carry in your pocket while you race. Shot Bloks are also another good choice to use during races. I tend to use a combination of both. When you’re purchasing your gels and shot bloks, pay close attention to the labels because some have caffeine and extra sodium. I’m not saying that caffeine or sodium is bad, but some people might not like caffeine and if you don’t sweat too much you probably don’t need the extra sodium. Again, this comes to down to personal preference.
Pre Race Meal
Every week leading up to your half marathon race you should have been experimenting with your pre-race meal before your weekly long run. Hopefully, by now you’ve nailed your prep meal and your stomach trusts that you won’t feed it something else on race day morning. Don’t overeat! Eat what made you feel the best for your better performing long run attempts. Don’t forget to drink about 8 -16 oz of water before the race. Don’t guzzle your water down in 10 seconds, just slowly sip on it up the hours and minutes up until your race.
Scott Morton is the author of, Beginner’s Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become race finishers.
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