The Best and Worst Racing Advice for Runners

The best and worst racing tips for this month's Run It series. Tips and tricks for runners by runners. |

Welcome to another edition of Run It!

In case you missed it, here’s what we covered so far this year:

Winter Running Tips and Essentials

How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

This month the focus is on the Best and Worst Racing Advice.

I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of each. I know I have! Here’s some tips I’ve received over the years and a few that I’ve picked up on my own.

Do get a new pair of shoes. Just make sure that they have at least a one to two 10 milers or higher in them if running a long distance race. If they bother you at all during the run(s), get a new pair. Just don’t buy them off Amazon like I did.

Do mimic the course during training.  If you are running a net downhill race, practice running downhill so your muscles will be conditioned for it. If you are running a mostly flat race, you still will need to practice that terrain. In my opinion, a variety of terrain is good for anyone’s training. It breaks up the monotony. If you can’t find a similar course in your area, you can simulate it on a treadmill if all else fails.

Do practice your fueling during your long runs. You’ll want to have your plan of what to eat and/or drink throughout the race mapped out. Find out what the race will provide along the course and use that.  Or if you already have a favorite, use that.

Do a mock race day run. I recently read about a woman that does the same dress rehearsal run every single year prior to the Boston marathon.  Everything from what time she wakes up, what she eats on the bus to Hopkinton and the Athlete’s Village and so on through the whole race.  You don’t have to go to that extent but you should at least run in what you plan to wear on race day (head to toe) and your fueling strategy.  For races that have a later start (like Boston), it would be good to try to run later in the day too.

Do start slow.  I’m notorious for starting too fast.  The excitement of finally being able to run, it’s hard to sit back.  With a cheering crowd all around you, it’s easy to feel like a rock star runner and give the crowd what they want to see. Try to run miles 1-3 in a half marathon or marathon slower than goal pace. Then, ramp up the speed as you click off the miles.  Once you hit the half way mark and you are feeling good, that’s when you can kick it up. It’s better to start slow and finish fast than the opposite way around.

The best and worst racing advice for runners.

Don’t try anything new on race day. This is a given right?  But how many of us have done it thinking “Oh it will be fine!” And it’s not.  Trust me. Just don’t do it!

Don’t spend hours on your feet the day before the race.  Running a marathon on tired legs and feet is not a good idea.  If you are training for an ultra, then go right ahead. You do know that most ultra runners aren’t running super fast, right?

Don’t forget to check out the race course.  I’m guilty of this one. You may not need to know every turn for turn but at least have a general idea of the route.  I’ve heard too many horror stories of races that had horrible course signs and no volunteers directing runners at turns.

Don’t pack at the last minute. If you are traveling to the race, make sure you lay out ALL your race day gear.  Don’t forget the little things like your Garmin charger, head band, socks, headphones (if you run with music), etc. Of course don’t forget the big things like your shoes and clothes.  If you are flying, don’t check race day gear. Stuff it in a backpack and carry it on for sure!

Don’t trust a fart. This applies to running and life but more so when you are running a race and your tummy is not happy. 🙂

Here are even more racing tips from 5 of my running friends. Click on the picture to take you to their post. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash to reference whenever you need it.


The Best (And Worst!) Running Advice




the bestand worst advice for runners


6 Running Bloggers Share The Best And WORST Race Advice EVER.


Best Racing Advice - This Runner's Recipes

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What’s your best racing tip?

What’s your worst?




17 comments on “The Best and Worst Racing Advice for Runners

  1. I’ve got all the running hacks you need on my post today–who knew? I was going to include not trusting a fart, but since I write about that topic a lot, I didn’t want people to think I’m obsessed. Altho I kind of am…

  2. I am also super guilty of not checking out the course before I register only to find out that there is like a huge hill or something, haha. Thankfully I live around hills so it’s not generally an issue but STILL, I should be smarter and check beforehand!

  3. All good advice. Love trying the mock race. I usually try to do something similar but I think I have run out of time for Boston this year. I do take careful notes before and after a race of my fueling strategies so I know what worked or didn’t work. I can always refer back to those notes for future races.

  4. The part about not trusting a fart really got me LOL I’ve made the mistake of trusting mine one too many times in a couple of my runs LOL

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