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Race Day Essentials: Packing and Preparation for the Big Race

Race Day Essentials:

Packing and Preparation for Tapered Runners

Race day is the culmination of weeks or months of training, and as a tapered runner, you want everything to go smoothly. Proper preparation and packing are key to minimizing stress on race day. In this blog post, we'll provide you with a comprehensive checklist of race day essentials and valuable tips on how to prepare during the taper phase for a successful and stress-free race experience.

1. Confirm Your Race Details:

  • Check the race website.

  • Double-check your race date, start time, location, and any last-minute updates from the race organizers.

  • Make sure you know the location and time of the packet pickup/expo.

  • Make sure you know your bib number and any necessary logistics for race day.

2. Running Gear:

  • Running shoes: Ensure you have a pair that you've trained in and that's in good condition. I often suggest getting your race shoes a month or so before the race day. Then run in those shoes for your last couple of long runs and then nothing more. Until race day, of course.

  • Appropriate clothing: Dress for the weather and pack extra layers if needed. Nothing new on race day. Wear what you have been training in. Most races have a place to "drop" clothes at the start line. You can wear a jacket (not your favorite one) and take if off at the start. Then it will magically appear at the finish line. You often need to put it in your drop bag you got from the expo. So check your races details.

  • Socks: Choose moisture-wicking and comfortable socks. No cotton socks! Race in what you have been training in.

  • Sunglasses or hat: What else do you want on you while running? Get it all ready the night before.

  • Race bib & safety pins: Attach your bib to the front of your clothing. If you attach it to the back - you will not show up in the race photos. So what was the whole point. :-)

  • GPS watch or running app: Make sure it's fully charged.

3. Nutrition and Hydration:

  • Pre-race meal: Plan your pre-race nutrition carefully based on what has worked during training. If you are planning on a carb loading meal, you want that 2 nights before the race. If you have an early more race, have your morning nutrition set out the night before.

  • Energy gels or snacks: Pack your preferred fuel during the race.

  • Water bottles or hydration system: Ensure you have enough to stay hydrated before and during the race.

  • Electrolyte supplements: Consider bringing electrolyte tabs or a sports drink.

4. Personal Items:

  • ID and race registration confirmation: Carry identification and race registration details. Look into what your race recommends.

  • Money or credit card: For emergencies or post-race purchases.

  • Cell phone and charger: Stay connected and charged in case of need.

  • Keys: If you need them after the race.

5. Race Bag Essentials: (your family could have for you at the start/end)

  • A race-specific bag or backpack to carry your essentials.

  • Sunscreen and lip balm: Protect your skin from sun exposure.

  • Body Glide or anti-chafing product: Prevent chafing in sensitive areas.

  • Hat or visor: Shield your face from the sun.

  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes.

  • First aid kit: Include band-aids, blister treatment, and any personal medications you may need.

  • Trash bags: For sitting on or for wet conditions.

  • Wet wipes or tissues: Handy for cleaning up after the race.

6. Race Day Logistics:

  • Plan your transportation to the race start well in advance.

  • Arrive early to allow time for parking, bathroom breaks, & warming up.

  • Familiarize yourself with the race course, aid stations, & race rules.

7. Mental Preparation:

  • Review your race strategy & goals.

  • Visualize a successful race.

  • Stay positive and calm.

8. Most Importantly - Post your flat (your name here) picture :-)

  • Take a picture of your outfit

  • Post it with #FlatMe

  • And tag us @PRPerformanceLab - of course!

More on the Taper part of your training: here.


Proper preparation and packing are essential for a smooth and successful race day experience. By following this comprehensive checklist and considering these tips during the taper phase, you'll be well-prepared to minimize stress and make the most of your hard-earned training on race day. Remember to enjoy the experience and celebrate your accomplishments! Good luck, and happy racing! 🏃‍♀️🏅

Remember - This is what you have been training for!

You ARE Race Ready!

You Got This!


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