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This Is The Critical Prep You Should Be Doing The Night Before A Race

Posted on: by Cally Silberbauer
A close-up of runner's shoes to represent running race prep

By Cally Silberbauer; Photograph by jcomp/Freepik

Running the Ultra-trail Cape Town?

One of South Africa’s biggest trail runs, the Ultra-trail Cape Town, is happening! If you’ve signed up for this challenge, you’re possibly wondering, why do I do this to myself? It’s natural to feel a bit nervous before any race, so we’ve put together some race prep that you can do the night before to help ease your mind before the big day.

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The night before a big race can feel a bit stressful – but it’s also critically important. Doubt keeps pulling you down as you run through all the training you’ve done. Is it enough? Will you be ready? Don’t fret. Everyone goes through this, even the pro’s. The best way to calm down and make sure you get a good night’s sleep (very important), is to make sure you’re prepared. Good luck!

1. Accept Your Fate

You’ve paid for the entry, you’ve done the training, you’re in it for the long haul, so now it’s time to accept your fate. You may feel that the training you’ve done isn’t enough, but here’s the thing: you can’t do anything about that now. Accept that you’ve done as much as you can and remember the races you’ve already completed.

2. Know All The Details

Make sure you know where you need to be tomorrow and at what time. What compulsory kit do you need, how much water do you need to carry and what do you need to have on your person (timing chip, race number)? If you have all of this sorted the night before, nothing can stress you out in the morning.

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3. Get Ready To Go

Lay out your favourite, most comfortable racing kit (don’t try something new that you’re not use to). You can even pin your number to your top beforehand. Make sure your hydration pack is ready, packed with compulsory kit and race fuel to keep your energy levels up throughout the race. Don’t forget to charge your phone and add the emergency contact for the race.

4. Eat A Nutritious Meal

What you eat before the race is just as important as what you eat during the race. Now is not the time to start experimenting with your diet, so stick to what you know. Carbo-loading is definitely a thing, so make sure you get in some good carbs the day before you lace up. It’s best to have a big lunch, followed by a lighter supper. Think: a home-made stir-fry with lean chicken, or tofu, and veg over rice.

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5. Drink Water, Not Wine

Although a glass of wine might seem like the best idea, try and save the alcohol for after the race. Alcohol is a diuretic so it will dehydrate you, which is the opposite of what you need. Before a race you need to be sure you are hydrating your body; in other words, drink that water – lots of it.

6. Good Night, Sleep Tight

Finally, although it may be hard, try to get a good night’s sleep. That means early to bed – and put down the distractions (sorry, that means your phone). Opt for a few pages of a good book rather than a screen. Make sure your alarm is set and think positively. You got this!

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