7 Race-Day Mistakes to Avoid
You put in the training and you're ready to crush your goal. Now, avoid making these race-day mistakes that could derail that glorious finish line moment you've been dreaming of.
Race-Day Mistakes 1. Going rogue on your outfit, fueling, or pacing choiceThe phrase "nothing new on race day" is often repeated for a reason. Stick with what you know! Don't get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Make your plan, and stand by it. Wear the gear you've trained in, eat the pre-race breakfast you're used to, and run the pace you trained for.
Race-Day Mistakes 2. Forgetting to charge your electronicsThat GPS watch won't do you any good on race day if you forgot to charge it overnight. (Though you could always consider running naked .)
Race-Day Mistakes 3. Not consulting the weather forecastNothing will threaten to mess with your big day likea mood swing from Mother Nature.But since you can't control the weather, do your best to adapt to it. Check the forecast leading up to the race so you can make sure you have whatever proper gear you might need—like a waterproof top if they're calling for rain, or hand-warmers if icy conditions are being predicted. If the day is looking hot and humid, dress the water and hydrate accordingly. Don't let the weather sideline all the hard work you've put in during training.
Race-Day Mistakes 4. Lining up in the wrong corralAt big races, you'll be told where to line up, indicated by signs or a designation on your race bib. These guides exist for a reason. You want to start the race surrounded by people who run at a pace similar to yours. Start up front with all the fastest racers and you'll get trampled. Start too far back, and you'll be bobbing and weaving around people choosing to walk for the first mile. Find your people, wish them luck, and feel free to pass them in the final stretch if you're feeling fierce.
Race-Day Mistakes 5. Going out too fast
When it comes to race-day mistakes, this one is a classic. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and adrenaline of race day. But your first mile should, in theory, be your slowest. Many experts advise trying to negative split a race—meaning you run the second half faster than the first half. Go out conservatively, let people pass you, and then kick it for the second half. You don't want to gun it out of the gate only to be gasping for air within the first half-mile.