You’ve been training for weeks and the big day is almost here. Whether you’re gearing up for a 5K, half marathon, or something longer (whew, we’re tired just thinking about it! ) use this checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered before you toe the starting line.

Pre-Race Checklist 

The Week Before:

1. Study the race course.

If you’re running a local race, test out the route beforehand. If not, at least study it. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident if you know where you’re headed and aren’t surprised by sharp turns or hills.

2. Try not to deviate from your normal daily routine.

This close to race day, stick with what you know. Eat your normal diet, stick to your normal workouts, and try not to (drastically) change your routine.

3. Test out race-day clothing options.

Thinking of wearing some new gear on race day? Take it for a test run the week before to make sure it fits well and is fully comfortable.

4. Make sure your shoes are good-to-go.

Blisters suck. Keep your feet happy by making sure your normal running shoes are laced up and ready to go. If you do happen to need a new pair the week before your race, try to break them in at least three days prior.

The Night Before:

5. Carb up! But don’t overdo it.

Unless you’re running a marathon or further, you probably don’t need to do much carbo-loading. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice bowl of noodles the night before your race — just keep things moderate.

6. Relax.

Try not to stress. Do something that helps relax you whether that means watching TV, hanging out with friends, or winding down with a magazine.

7. Go to bed early for plenty of sleep.

It might be hard if you’re feeling nervous, but plan on going to bed early so that you wake up feeling rested and ready to run!

The Day Of:

8. Eat a nutritious (and normal) breakfast.

Eat the same things that have been working for you through your training. Don’t try anything new or overeat — no matter how tempting that pan of brownies might be.

9. Sip, don’t gulp, water.

Most of your key hydration prior to a race happens the day before. Don’t drink too much water in the morning before you run, or else risk making a dreaded porta potty stop.

10. Get to the starting line early.

Always allow for more time at race check-in than you think you’ll need. Between grabbing your bib, going to the bathroom, and getting to the starting line, you’ll be glad you got there with plenty of time to spare.

11. Embrace the race-day madness and enjoy your runner’s high!

You’ve come this far — enjoy it! The energy at a race is one of a kind. Soak up the awesomeness with your fellow runners and feel proud you made it to the start line.


12. It’s party time! Celebrate your hard work.

We’re pretty fond of a cold post-run beer paired with a greasy cheeseburger and fries. You earned it, right?

13. Recover the right way.

Stretch, nap, chill out, and relish in your greatness. You’re a winner. [Pound it.]

Looking for the right pair of sunglasses to complete your race-day look? We’ve got the best sunglasses for runners right here. 

Best Sunglasses for Runners >>