Dinner the night before a race should be what you normally eat. Pasta is always the first thing we think of, but even grilled chicken, brown rice, and veggies is just as good. Key thing is to not be adventurous, keep it simple. I have learned the hard way with this and paid for it race day…3 cheese raviolis was a bad choice!!
Pre-race breakfast for a marathon and half marathon is needed because you burn lots of calories during that run, so make it a good hearty one. Breakfast should be consumed 3-4 hours before the start of the race, to allow for proper digestion, the last thing you need is a stomachache while running. Breakfast should consist mainly of carbs, which is your body’s preferred source of energy. And it should also be a breakfast you normally have, so save the pizza and mimosas for post race! My go-to breakfast of champions before a race is my 3 ingredient waffles or oatmeal with almond butter and a banana.
Race day outfit is my favorite part of this experience. I have a whole system down: buy a new outfit a couple weeks before, wash it, run in it a few times, and lay it out the night before a race. Chicago marathon outfit was simple: Graced by Grit tank that hugged my body and is super soft, Lululemon sports bra, Nike Legend leggings and Lunarglide 6 running shoes. Cute and comfortable was the main goal of this outfit. Essentials for the cold weather: gloves & throwaway sweatshirt.
Nike Women’s Half Marathon outfit was fun, random, and sexy! I wore a purple Nike Women’s Half tank, Nike black and white tie-dye leggings, Lululemon sports bra, and Lunarglide 6 shoes. Why fit in when you were born to stand out! (For more info about my Fall running wardrobe)
Break up the race into sections to make it less intimidating. For my marathon I broke mine it into manageable sections: Miles 1-6, 6-10, 10-13 (half way done!), 13-16, 16-20, after miles 20 take it a mile at a time. Half marathon was broken up into: Miles 1-3, 3-6, 6-10, and 10-13. Take it one step at a time and trust your training, you got this!! (For my training schedule click here)
Fuel is very important throughout the race, and the only way to test what/when is the best time to take your fuel is during training. I have found that Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks are my favorite and taste just like candy. I have a system of taking one chew every 3 miles. Water is just as important as fuel, and I take this close to every 2-3 miles or as needed.
When you get to the last home stretch of the run it becomes very mental. Your body feels numb and you just want to finish, but you have to dig deep and stay strong. My cheesy way to stay motivated is to repeat positive phrases in my head. During the last 3 miles of Chicago Marsthon I repeated “Think strong. Be strong. Finish strong.” And Nike Women’s Half, during the brutal uphill mile 10, I kept saying “Just keep running.”
Top 3 songs for my back-to-back races:
1. Loyal – Chris Brown
2. Don’t tell em – Jeremih
3. Let the beat build – Lil Wayne
Have fun! Check out the funny signs and high-five people, no need to be so serious. Not going to lie, I smacked Ashleigh’s butt a few times during the race and screamed, because I’m crazy and was just too excited not to 😉
An ice bath should be the one thing on your mind after the race. Follow Fit Any’s steps for the most successful ice bath of your life:
1. Fill tub up with cold water, about 3/4 full
2. Get in with the bath with a hoodie, towel around shoulders, shorts, and socks. Sounds weird, but it helps keep you warm
3. Have someone pour the ice in, about 40lbs should be good per person
4. Set timer for 20 minutes, just get through the first 10 and you won’t feel anything after that
Eat! During my marathon I burned close to 3000 calories and 1500 for my half. I don’t normally indulge quite like the time after Chicago marathon, but I deserved it and went with deep dish pizza and mimosas. Of course I resumed my normal eating after that meal, but it was nice to just let loose and celebrate!
Chicago Marathon – 3:53
Nike Women’s Half Marathon – 1:49