It’s Race Day. Now What?

It’s the day you’ve been training for: race day. You’ve followed your Garmin Coach training plan and put in the miles. Your shoes are broken in and ready to go. Before you hit the start line, let’s make sure your checklist is locked and loaded.

Prepare Your Kit

You’ve run. A LOT. So that probably means you’ve found the shirt and shorts combo you like best. Make sure they’re clean for race day — so much of your stress can be mental, so knowing you’re suited up in something that doesn’t rub or chafe can be the biggest feat of all.

Download the Racecourse

Don’t be the racer who waits until you arrive at the event to download the course onto your smartwatch. Typically, you will receive an email from the race organization with a link to the course. Simply click the link on your phone and follow the steps to download it to your smartwatch. Once you have downloaded the race course, the ClimbPro feature automatically allows you to see the remaining ascent and grade when you’re climbing while following a route or course. It’s a great feature for monitoring your intensity level and makes it easier to dose your energy.

Fuel Up

Never show up hungry. Eat a balanced breakfast that’ll carry you through. A great place to start is with carbs. Oatmeal or a bagel with peanut butter on top and a banana on the side will have you feeling good. But same goes with eating as it does with your clothing: try it before you commit on the morning of the race.

Clock Your Drive

The race waits for no one, and there’s bound to be traffic. Lessen your stress by getting there with plenty of time to park, warm up and stretch. Plus, if you’re in a new place, you might want to do a practice trip so you know where you’re headed without confusion.

Pack a Carry-on

If you have to fly to your race, pack your race-day essentials in your carry-on bag. The airlines are good, but they’ve been known to lose a piece of luggage or two.

Ready Your Cheering Squad 

Signs? Check. Cowbells? Check. A large group that is committed to screaming your name? Check yes! This might be your day, but it’s always better to celebrate with friends and family along the course. Print out a map so they can get to know the route ahead of time — races = road closures, so knowing the city is an added bonus.

Pace Yourself

We get it. Race day is full of adrenaline. Especially with the anticipation of the start. But don’t go out too fast. Know your pace and stick to it. It might feel easy to start with, but by halfway, you’ll be happy you gave yourself a break at the beginning. PacePro™, a feature on select Garmin watches, can help you stick to your pace and achieve your race-day goals.

And most importantly, don’t forget to make the most of every mile. You’ve worked hard to be there!