Race prep mistakes: learn from the master

I have run a lot of races in my time, cross country, 400metres, 100metres, half marathons, adventure races, you name it. And I have made some race preparation mistakes along the way. Which is fine because it means you can read about them and not repeat them.

1. Forgot to pack my running socks.
Seriously. When you’re used to running in one thing it is vital that you have that same kit as you don’t want anything to add to your nerves or anxiety. Make sure you pack them.

2.Lost my hair band an hour before the race.
You’re fine if you’ve got short hair but if you’ve got long hair, there is nothing worse than running with your hair swirling around, getting in your mouth or lacerating your eyeball if it’s windy. And believe me, an hour before a race it is well nigh impossible to find anywhere selling a hair band or even elastic band. (what did I do? I used a clean pair of colourful knickers that I think passed as a hairband! yes, really.)

3. Didn’t take any safety pins.
This is vital for pinning on your race number. Someone has always got some but you really don’t want to running around in a flap looking for some before a race. TAke four as you will want to pin your number securely.

They are my top three. Anyone else got any to share?

Only other things that are worth bearing in mind are
1. your passport if going internationally
2. running kit
3. water bottle to take to the start line
4. something warm to wear afterwards
5. sports tape if you have to tape an injury
6. pre race snacks of brekkie if you’re not at home
7. information about how to get to the start line and where to drop your bags

And make sure you hydrate well before a race – don’t gulp down 2litres an hour before. YOu should be drinking and eating well the week before. But you DON’T need to carb load for a half marathon or less.


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