RACE GUIDE: Pre Race Prep

Fuelling your body for success!

As a running coach deeply invested in the success of my athletes and someone who's been through countless races myself, I've come to appreciate the critical importance of pre-race preparation. It's not just about pounding the pavement; it's about nurturing your body and mind in the days leading up to the big event. So, let's take a look at how you can fuel yourself for success, drawing from both my coaching expertise and personal experiences as an athlete.


Nourishing your body properly is key to unlocking your full potential on race day. In the days leading up to the race, focus on maintaining a balanced diet that includes plenty of carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Carbs, in particular, serve as your body's primary fuel source during endurance activities, so don't skimp on them.

The day before the race, opt for easily digestible foods like pasta, rice, and fruits to top up your energy stores. And don't forget to stay hydrated! Sip water throughout the day to ensure you're adequately hydrated come race morning.

Rest and recovery:

In addition to fueling your body, giving it the rest it needs is equally crucial. Aim for a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each night in the lead-up to the race. Quality sleep allows your body to repair and recharge, ensuring you're feeling fresh and ready to tackle those miles.

Incorporate gentle mobility and foam rolling into your pre-race routine to keep your muscles loose and limber. But be careful not to overdo it, the goal here is to prime your body, not exhaust it or make it so sore that’s it cooked from the day.

Personal pre-race routine:

As for my own pre-race routine, it's all about meticulous planning and finding moments of calm amidst the pre-race jitters. The night before the race, I lay out all my gear, double-checking that I have everything I need. I also take the time to visualise the race ahead, picturing myself crossing the finish line strong and smiling.

On race morning, I rise early to give myself plenty of time to eat breakfast, hydrate, and mentally prepare. My go-to pre-race meal is a bowl of porridge topped with sliced banana and a drizzle of honey—it's simple, satisfying, and provides the energy I need to fuel my run. If I’m absolutely starving, I might have a bagel too.

After a gentle warm-up jog of 1-2 miles and some light mobility, I take a moment to center myself, focusing on my breath and quieting any nerves. Then, it’s time to get into my pre race drills, this is where I really zone in and think about using every inch of my running ability over the course of however long the race is. Then it's time to toe the line and give it my all. 

In conclusion, effective pre-race preparation isn't just about what you do on race day—it's about the days and weeks leading up to it. By fuelling your body with the right nutrients, giving it the rest it needs, and finding moments of calm amidst the chaos, you'll set yourself up for success come race day.

Stay tuned for the next instalment, where we'll delve into post-race recovery strategies to help you bounce back stronger than ever.

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