Race day comes quickly once you sign up, and it’s important that you do all the right things to prepare. This means doing certain things and avoiding others if you’re going to perform to the best of your ability. After working so hard for the race, you wouldn’t want one small thing to mess up all your hard work, after all.

Follow a Training Program

Running isn’t the only fitness activity you should be doing to prepare for the big day. It’s important to follow a proper training program that will have you healthy and fit for the race. Starting at the same time of day that the race will be, provides a major benefit. Your body will be used to working out at that time, which will make it easier to maintain your stamina during the event. It’s important to wear similar clothes throughout the training process that you will on race day as well. You want to keep everything the same so nothing throws you off when it counts. This means wearing the same shoes, athletic wear, and even the same workout bra if you’re a female.

Stick to Your Routine

It’s imperative that you stick to your routine in the weeks leading up to the race. Never try new food at a restaurant you’ve never been, switch up your workout, or get a different pair of shoes. Any changes like these can cause a decrease in performance. You want to be focused and prepared for the race you’ve been working toward running.

Make Time to Relax and De-stress

Stressing about the big race can make it worse to run. You want to de-stress and find time to relax in the days leading up to the race so that you aren’t feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of how you’ll do. Athletes should consider a spa pool for their home so they always have an easy way to relax when needed. The heat from the water can even help to loosen muscles and joints and increase blood circulation, easing soreness.

Fuel Your Body

It’s necessary to keep your body fueled with the right foods before a race. Runners need to load up on carbs in the last few days before the event because they become sugar-based molecules that the body can use to keep up its energy. It is said that loading up on carbs will improve a runner’s overall performance, endurance, energy levels, and even speed.

Drink Water Two Hours Beforehand

The body needs to be properly hydrated if it’s going to be able to handle the vigorous activity that happens during a big race. You need time to eliminate the water so you aren’t having to use the bathroom come race time, so roughly two hours before go-time is the goal for getting your ounces in. Roughly 16 ounces is recommended for proper hydration.

You’ll never come close to winning the race or even being able to give it your all if you aren’t adequately prepared. Staying hydrated, fueled, and relaxed will be the biggest help in ensuring you can tackle the task at hand and make yourself proud on the big day.