5 top tips for runners on race day

Good luck to all the runners taking part in the London Marathon this weekend! To make sure you're all ready for the big day, here are our 5 top tips for race day so your run goes as smoothly as possible and you can run your best race!



1. The Night Before—Get Your Bag Ready. Being organized will calm your nerves and ensure you don’t forget anything. Avoid doing this at the last minute when nerves have already taken hold. Well-organized races will have a bag-deposit area so you can safely store your gear while you run.

2. Eat a breakfast with complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread or oatmeal, and allow a couple of hours for digestion. For afternoon races, have a light early lunch and include some pasta or rice. At the end of your meal you should feel full but not stuffed.

3. Do a 10-minute warm up shortly before heading for the start line. Try a fast walk, total body stretch, and even a few skips to get your feet activated. Running for a few minutes might help relieve some of the pre-race tension.

4. Begin by…running slowly. Going out too fast is the number-one mistake that runners make, whether running a 5k or a marathon. It will be tempting to rush. Everybody around you will be going wild, running as fast as they can to get ahead of the crowd. You could be tricked into feeling like this is your special day to be super fast. The easiest way to take command of your race is to have a plan…Take a look at your average 1km / 1 mile times over the past few weeks of training and decide your target time. The most important element is not to go under your average time in the first kilometer/mile of the race. Once the crowds have thinned out and you have more space to run, get your breathing under control. At that point decide if you want to speed up a little or simply cruise along to the finish.

5. Mix walking and running. There is no shame in walking, especially when it’s part of your plan. The key is to decide ahead of time how often and how long your walking breaks will be. If you have the first minute to get settled into the race, you’ll be running through the finish line. During your walk segments, concentrate on getting control of your breath and keeping a nice pace. You can also stretch your arms above your head to relieve any tension in shoulders and arms.


Check out our other blogs for runners, including 5 basic stretches for runners and 5 tips for beginner runners.


This blog has been extracted from Up and Running by Julia Jones and Shauna Reid.