You have decided to enter your first race. Alhumdulillah, you have realized that racing is not a scary monster but in fact road races are for EVERYONE. The fast, the slow, the runner, the walker, the jogger, the young, the mature, the super fit, those striving to be fit, and everyone in between! You have registered, now what do you do, what do you bring, and what do you wear. Here are a few tips to help inshallah have a successful race.
WHAT TO DO
- Make Dua
- Get approval from your doctor before starting a new training program.
- Hire a run coach or
- Download and use an training program such as Runkeeper
- The length of your training program depends on your current fitness level and the length of the race (Training Programs typically are 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, or 20 weeks)
- A good training program not only focus on running but also nutrition, muscle strengthening and flexibility.
- Set a realistic and attainable goal
- Make the time to train
- Stick to your training program
- Find a local run group to keep you motivated
- Track your progress
THE DAY BEFORE RACE DAY
- RELAX! You have trained for this you and your body is ready to conquer your goals!
- RUN OR NOT: You can choose to go for a slow, short, jog/walk to loosen your body or just chill out! Don’t obsess, everyone gets nervous.
- RACE BIB: If possible, pick up your race packet.
- ORGANIZE: Put everything in one spot so your are not scrambling around race day.
- HYDRATE: Be sure to drink water throughout the day, approximately 8oz every two hours or so.
- NUTRITION: Eat a healthy and nutritious dinner. But nothing out of the ordinary that might cause an upset stomach.
- SLEEP: Get a good night’s rest, go to bed at a normal hour.
- PRAY: Make Dua for a successful race!!
- BREAKFAST: What you eat depends on the race distance but eat light and do not try anything new! Long distance races require a SMALL breakfast of mostly complex carbs mixed with a small amount of protein be sure to eat at least 2 hours before the race start while shorter races you can get away with eating just a banana or date 45 minutes before race start for energy.
- BE PUNCTUAL: Arrive at least an hour before the race to allow for parking, packet pickup if necessary, bathrooms stops, and warmup!
- LISTEN: Most races will be given instructions, so pay attention!
- RUN YOUR RACE!: You have prayed and you have trained and now you are ready. Start out slow! Enjoy your race!
WHAT TO BRING
- TRACK: GPS Watch or phone to track your run
- RACE BIB: or pick it up the day of the race
- PINS: for your race bibs (most races will have some available)
- SNACKS: Most race will provide recovery snacks but having backup is a great idea
- WATER: Again most races are guaranteed to have water, but again having backup is a great idea
- FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Most races offer wonderful support from its volunteers and spectators, however having a familiar face always offer indescribable motivation
WHAT TO WEAR
- Check the weather and dress approiately
- Comfortable light weight, moisture wicking (dri fit) clothing
- Try not to wear anything new on race day.
- Moisture wicking (if possible) comfortable socks – you don’t want to have your socks sliding off your foot!!
- Dress in layers, as you warm up (and you will, inshallah) you can start to remove those layers.
- A hat or sunglasses are a good idea to protect you for the sun.