1. Don’t do anything new (eating new foods, getting a massage from a new massage therapist, wearing new shoes).

2. Hydrate well the entire week with water, and some electrolyte enhanced sports drinks.

3. Don’t overeat or over-carbo load the night before. Eat your normal amount of dinner!

4. Plan your race day breakfast. You may be awake many more hours before the race than you usually wake up before your long runs, so you may need to eat more.

5. Cut your toenails- just don’t cut them too short!

6. Team Running Buddies- set up “running buddies” with friends to jump in and run 4-6 miles with (ie Meet Joey at mile 16. He runs with you to mile 20. Then you meet Lisa at mile 20 and she’ll run with you to 25. These running bandits MUST exit the race course before the finish line and CANNOT cross the finish line. Determine ahead of time where you’ll meet, which side of the street and what you’ll be wearing.)

7. Check the weather and plan your race day outfit. Remember, you may arrive at the start when it’s still dark and chilly, but finish during the heat of the day. Your body will feel about 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature.

8. Frozen Gatorade/Pedialyte/Electrolytes- freeze a bottle the night before and give it to your spectators for you.

9. Get disposable clothes to wear before the start. If it’s a cold morning, you’ll need warm clothes to wear until the race starts, but won’t have time to put those clothes in baggage claim. If it’s raining, wear a plastic rain poncho (tuck the poncho into your shorts to keep dry and look extra geeky!). So go through your closets for old clothes, or go to a thrift store. Throw them off at the start (or even several miles into the race) and they’ll be donated.

10. Buy gloves and hat. Keep your head and hands warm. That’s where you lose the most body heat. Gloves are a great way to keep your hands warm at the beginning of the race, blow your nose when needed (it happens!), and throw them off when you warm up. You can buy cheap ones at the 99 cents or hardware stores.

11. Set out your “Running Woman/Man” the day before the race. That is, set out all your gear, food and clothes, body glide, nip guards, sunglasses, hat etc… as if you were dressing right then and attach your race number to your shirt.

12. Plan for your spectators. Where in the race will they see you? Which side of the street will you be on? Will they go to more than one spot? Where will you find each other after the race? Will you run with your phone? Check the race website for road closures and spectator info.

13. Plan with your running partners your race strategy. It’s best to plan to start together, but it’s ok to separate if one feels stronger/ not as strong/ has to use the restroom etc… You don’t want to feel frustrated by running too fast or too slow in order to stay with someone else.

14. Record the race on TV and watch the elite marathoners. They are f** incredible! You just ran the exact same race- same distance, same course, same day- as elite professional athletes! What was their racing experience compared with yours, hmmm?



1. Remember your Gu, body glide, nip guards, sunblock, hat, sunglasses etc… (all the little things!). It may be dark and cold when you wake up, but you’ll need these later.

2. Don’t worry if you didn’t sleep well the night before the race or didn’t sleep at all; it’s very common! Your adrenaline will get you through the race and then you’ll sleep like a baby!

3. Don’t over-caffeinate even if you’re sleepy or fatigued. Remember don’t do anything new. Trying Monster or 5-hour Energy for the first time is a bad idea!

4. Wear all of your disposable clothes to the race. It’s better to be warm and throw them away, then feel cold at the start. You also don’t have to throw them away before you start; you can wear these clothes for as many miles as you want.

5. Get on port-o-potty line, as soon as you arrive at the race. Do leg swings, dynamic stretching and jog in place while in line. After you go, get back in line and go again.

6. There will be port-o-potties at every mile, after the end of each water stop. Port-o-potty lines will thin after about mile 8.

7. DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. I repeat, DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. Do not run faster than you’ve trained and be conservative for the first 10-15 miles. You will not make up the time when you hit the wall later in the race.

8. The half-way point of a half marathon is mile 10. In a marathon, it’s mile 20.

9. Waterstops: Don’t have to actually stop or walk. You can grab the water/Gatorade, pinch the cup and keep going.

10. You don’t need to drink water at every water stop. You may overhydrate that way (a condition called hyponatremia). You can drink about 2-3 oz. every 30 min, swish and spit, and pour water over your head and on your pulse points (behind the neck, knees and elbows).


12. HAVE FUN!!!!



1. Walk 30 min the next day.

2. Get a massage 3 days later (you may be too tender before that).

3. Hang up your race medal at work or home! Show it off!

4. Sign up for your next race !