“let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1

My little posse of runners will descend on the Little Rock Marathon this weekend. In their honor, I though I might post a few pre-race reminders of some things NOT to do when you are getting this close to your big race.

I have made most of these mistakes.  You have trained a long time.  Don’t mess it up the day before the race.

  1. Do Not Workout Too Much: In the winter, especially, I find that many of us are a tad bit behind on our training schedule. The weather has gotten in the way along with the calling of our couch and the comfort food that always seems to end up with us there. So, there is a tendency to want to cram in some extra long runs before the race or at the very least to do more than what is on your plan.  Don’t do it.

You won’t gain fitness.

You will just be tired.

And on race day, you want to be itching to run. You don’t want to be tired.

Most plans, if you have one, include a taper where your mileage goes down before the race. Stick to that plan! If you don’t have a plan, an easy thing to do is cut your workouts in half two weeks before and then in ½ again the week before the race.

  1. Do Not Miss Meals: Especially when you travel for a race, it is really easy to get out of your eating routine. You are on the road and don’t want to eat fast food or you just get caught up in activities and don’t eat lunch until 3 or you spend WAY too long at the expo and don’t bring any snacks. Missing meals the day before the race will definitely make race day a bit lethargic. Pack some snacks just in case.
  2. Do Not Over Carbo-load: Likewise you don’t need to over eat. Likely you have not been running as much so you don’t need to eat more than normal because you are exercising less than normal. Your tank should be filled up if you tapered.   All eating a bunch of pasta will do is send you to porta potty line 18 times in the morning. (I know you know what I am talking about.) And who wants to be there? Eat a normal portion or normal food for you.
  3. Do Not Over Do The Water: When I first started racing, we would carry a gallon of water with us to drink throughout the day.   I never got through that gallon. I just got irritated because I had to go to the bathroom 1 billion times. You do want to hydrate in the days before a race, but you want to combine your water intake with electrolyte intake such as through Gatorade or Nuun, any other electrolyte drink or through Endurolyte tablets by Hammer Nutrition. Drinking excess water all day will actually flush out your electrolytes and can do more harm than good.
  4. Do Not Assume You Know What the Weather Will Do: The first marathon I did was in Chicago. When we left Missouri, it was 80 degrees and sunny. I packed some capris and a long sleeve shirt because I knew Chicago would be colder, but I did not expect the conditions we got. 30 degrees. Rainy and, you guessed it, windy. Seriously? My pocket book took a big hit because I had to buy all new gear.

Good Luck to everyone racing all over the country this weekend. The season is upon us. May it be one where we learn perseverance and endurance not just in running but in our faith as well.