Gearing up for your first 10K or taking on a marathon? Whatever the distance, our race-day survival tips will get you across the finish line with a smile!
Wear your name
This is an obvious tip, but many runners often overlook the opportunity to pretend to be famous. It’s a simple equation: wear your name across your chest and people will cheer you on by name. The louder the cheers, the more you feel like a celebrity and the better your race day will be.
Chances are you work in an office/warehouse/aquarium and running a race will be your only opportunity to experience what it feels like to be a rock star. Wear your name, work the red carpet and enjoy your moment to shine.
The rubber band technique
A trick often employed by people who suffer from anxiety, the rubber band technique is ideal for runners who struggle with self-doubt. Wear a rubber band around your wrist on race day and every time a negative thought sneaks into your mind, ping it.
The little pinch is enough to snap you back into race mode and remind you about the task at hand: being fabulous.
Walk the walk
If you’re new to racing and taking on your first long-distance event, don’t be afraid to factor walk breaks into the day. We all need to start somewhere and expecting to finish a long-distance run without the odd break is a big ask.
If you mentally decide to allow walk breaks in advance, you also won’t feel guilty about it come race day, so you’ll be more likely to maintain a positive mindset as you strut down the red carpet in style.
Talk the talk
Should you start to struggle, find an interesting looking runner in your close vicinity and strike up a conversation! A few words of encouragement will work wonders for both of you, take your mind off the miles ahead and who knows, you might even make a new friend.
Dress for the occasion
Wear your favourite running gear that makes you feel sexy and your race is guaranteed to go well. (Don’t forget to opt for kit you’re used to running in to avoid the dreaded chafe.) Or if you’re feeling exceptionally brave, don something fancy and work the crowds! Look good, feel good, run better; simple.
Smile like a rock star
Don’t forget to smile! Even if you’re having a tough time, grin like a Cheshire cat every single time you see a camera en route and you will sail through. A recent study published in Psychological Science found that even forced smiles can decrease your stress and make you feel happier.
Smiling not only makes you feel good, but you’ll also look considerably better in your race-day pictures, which you will treasure forever after smashing your first race like the star that you are.