Race Day Tips

Published: April 19, 2022

By Rock the Block Run

It's time to Rock It on Saturday. We are excited to see you at the start and finish line. The weather is supposed to be great and we hope you have a rockin' experience with family and friends.

Here are some tips going into the day:

What time should I wake up?

Aim to rise at least three hours before the race. You can even wake up four hours before, eat a small meal, and then go back to sleep for 30 to 60 minutes.

What should I eat the morning of the race?

It is very individualized, but there is no need to overeat. You will only need about 500 calories, three to four hours before the race starts. Eat a meal that is easily digestible, low in fiber and consists of mostly carbs. Sip water up until the race starts and take an energy gel or a granola or energy bar about 30 to 60 minutes before the race starts. Example: one to two slices of toast with peanut butter, jelly or honey, along with a banana and a glass of water and/or juice.

What should I wear?

Cool, lightweight clothing that is light-colored. Do not wear anything new on race day to avoid chafing, blisters, GI distress, etc.

Is it okay to wear new shoes on race day?

No, it is not recommended to wear new shoes on race day. Shoes that have about 40 to 50 miles on them would be appropriate for race day. Shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 400 miles to help reduce the chance of injury.

Should I run the day before the event?

Many people prefer a light jog of 15 to 20 minutes to shake out the nerves and get blood flowing, while others prefer to take the day off. Do what works best for you. If you choose to run, be sure to keep it to a short, light jog.

How do I know if I am hydrated?

One of the best indicators for hydration is monitoring the color of your urine. Urine should be a light, lemonade-yellow in color. On race day, make sure you hydrate along the way and take a cup of Gatorade or water at each fluid station.

How should I hydrate post-race?

Replenishing lost fluids is extremely important to prevent dehydration. Every pound of fluid lost during exercise should be replaced with 24 ounces. Knowing what to replace the body with can be quite challenging. For a run lasting less than 30 minutes, the body will need water as its main source of rehydration. For runs lasting longer than 30 minutes, a combination of water and sports drinks should be used to replenish the body appropriately.

What do I do if I feel discomfort or pain during the race?

It is common for some to experience mild discomfort or pain during the race. Some people carry Tylenol or Ibuprofen in case they begin to experience discomfort. Biofreeze also can be helpful with muscle aches and pain during the race.

What should I do if I begin to cramp?

Drink fluids! Make sure you are taking advantage of fluid stations along the course to help prevent any form of dehydration. You might carry salt and mustard packets that have a high sodium content. This is a quick way to help replenish some of the salt that has been lost through sweating.

How do I know if I am dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include: headache, thirst, fatigue, cessation of sweating, dry mouth, swollen tongue, low or no urine output, dark urine, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fever, tenting of skin (when pinching the skin up, it stays in that position).