Preparing for race day and looking for some last-minute tips? Sod the generic guidelines; try my alternative race day tips to guarantee the best day ever!

Rhalou jumping

Foil babies

Sweets are a vital accessory for race day. The sugar hit will not only perk you up, but a little treat at designated mile markers will give you something to work for. Don’t lug the whole bag round with you though. They’ll only turn into a giant sticky mess. Wrap your chosen sweeties (I recommend Jelly Babies) in pairs in tin foil and secrete them about your person. Your fellow runners will think you’re a crack head, but who cares. Those surprise parcels of sugary goodness will keep you smiling past the finish line.

Smile like a star

Smile! And I don’t just mean at the official race photographers at the finish line. Smile like a loony at every single camera you see en route. Pretend they’re the paparazzi and you’re a movie star, and practice your confident smiley professional runner face. Smiling not only makes you feel good, but you’ll look a damned sight better in your race pictures afterwards, which once your enormous blisters recede will be your only memory of race day.

Say my name

An obvious tip, but still many runners overlook the opportunity to pretend to be famous. Wear your name with pride emblazoned across your chest and people will cheer you. Never underestimate the joyous feeling of hearing a happy crowd shouting your name in encouragement. Chances are you work in an office and running a race will be the only opportunity in your entire life to experience even a modicum of what it’s like to be famous, so work the red carpet with pride! Unless your name is Rhalou of course. If you have an unpronounceable name, make a new simpler one up. Be Jane for the day. Having your name on your chest with no one brave enough to try and pronounce it is rather disheartening.

Fantastic elastic

Wear a rubber band around you wrist. Not a hair band, but a proper elastic band. The sort the postman brings. Every time you start to flag or lose your pace, ping it. The little pinch is enough to snap you back into race mode. It sounds nuts, but I swear it works. Rather like dog training, only on yourself.

Top of the pops

Forget spending hours planning your perfect mood-enhancing race day playlist, or combining all the coolest tracks from the trendiest DJs. Stick on the cheesiest pop music you can find and skip your way around. No one else can hear you so they don’t need to know you’re pegging along to Britney Spears. I defy you all not to run a little faster and a little better when the cheesiest school disco tracks are blasting in your ears.

Be a cheerleader

During certain races like Brighton or Bristol the route is designed as such that you have to run past the faster people as they make their way back before you. But don’t be disheartened by watching the elites zoom by. Use this as an opportunity to cheer your fellow runners on. Just because they’re wearing teeny shorts and a serious expression, doesn’t mean they won’t also appreciate a roaring cheer. Plus the positivity flowing out of you will be infectious and you’ll soon feel fab too.

Follow the leader

If you’re running alone or you lose your friends, find someone slightly faster than you with a really sexy bum, and make it your mission to follow them. Everyone appreciates a tightly clad Lycra buttock, and admiring your oblivious pacer’s perky bum might just get you to the finish line in one piece. And even if it doesn’t, at least you’ll get to enjoy the view for a bit.

War paint

On the morning of your race day, apply full make up. Even if you sweat half of it off by mile five, I still wholeheartedly recommend wearing war paint. Look sexy, feel sexy, run faster, simple.

Good luck!

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