Whether it’s your first-ever race or your hundredth, race day is nerve-racking. These nerves are because you’ve worked hard and prepared well, and now you want your efforts to pay off.
Runners are cut from the same cloth, which is why race day questions and anxieties look similar across the board. No matter what running event you’re participating in, these are the questions you will likely ask, or be asked, come race day.
Should we go for a walk?
Some runners like to walk around a little to loosen up the body before a race. Don’t be surprised if you see some of your competitors strolling aimlessly the morning of the race.
Have you done a shakeout?
A shakeout run is a slightly elevated version of the pre-race walk. The principle is the same, it’s a quick run to get the body moving. This is more common if a runner’s race is in the evening.
Can we get a coffee?
Pre-race coffee is an essential for most runners. You will certainly be asked by several competitors if you’re adequately caffeinated–hopefully the answer is yes.
Do you have a banana?
If a runner becomes hungry on the start line, the go-to food is a banana.
Do I really have to go to the washroom again?
The race day washroom trips are frequent and this is normal. But yes, it can be surprising just how many times you’ve had to use the port-a-potty.
Where’s my number?
When you’re nervous, you lose stuff. And for some reason, that always ends up being your race number.
Should I wear sunglasses?
If race day is sunny, there’s the question of glasses or no glasses. If you’re running a marathon and it’s bright out, we’d recommend the shades. If you’re only doing a couple of laps of the track, it’s probably less necessary.
Did you sleep well last night?
Race day nerves can get in the way of a deep sleep the night before an event. If this sounds like you, don’t stress–rest and recovery are cumulative. So if you’ve slept well in the week leading up to an event, one sub-par night won’t make much of a difference come race day.