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5 Tips To Approach Your Next Race The Smart Way

Summer is here in full force and there are races galore to choose from. Many runners are beginning to train for fall races, which means they’ll be spending lots of time running in the summer heat and testing their fitness along the way with weekend races.

Want to crush your next race? Here are some tips that’ll help you reach your goals.

1. Go To Bed Early

Run all the miles, eat all the right food and roll your muscles all you want–but if you don’t rest your body, it’ll all be for naught. Do yourself a favor and tuck yourself into bed early every night the week of your race. Need a few tips to help you fall asleep? Try soaking in a warm epsom salt bath, listening to some relaxing music and putting your phone (and TV and all other electronic devices) away. If you feel tempted, charge your phone in another room so you can’t access it.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water And Eat Healthy

As runners, we should all be drinking a good amount of water every day–especially in the heat. The week of your race, really monitor your fluids and make sure you’re drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day.

Make sure to also eat a diet rich in protein and carbs. Give yourself the gift of fueling your body well so it can perform on race day.

Nat Runs Far shares one of her favorite breakfasts–a delicious, healthy mix of fruit and protein.

3. Take Inventory Of Your Race-Day Needs

Prepare all of your race day accessories ahead of time so they’re ready to go when it’s time to head to the starting line. This includes making sure that your:

a. outfit’s picked out

b. favorite running socks are clean

c. running watch is charged

d. shoes are ready to go

e. race fuel is tucked away and ready

f. hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are accessible

g. favorite playlist is ready for listening to get you pumped!

4. Write Down A Realistic Goal

Whether your goal is to finish the race or race for time (with a smile), write it down. Take a peek at it every day before you go on your training run to remind youself why you’re getting up before dawn (or running at dusk when you’d rather be watching a show) to pursue your goals.

5. Trust The Process

Running is such a journey. It will take you to incredible highs and definitely some lows, but the journey itself is really special. Trust your training, never give up on yourself–even when it gets tough out there–and remember to have FUN!

Nat Runs Far

Nat Runs Far

Natalie Mitchell is NatRunsFar. Natalie is mom to three young kiddos and wife to her best friend. She is a seven-time marathoner, four-time Boston qualifier and five-time triathlete. Natalie enjoys taking her readers on a journey of running, inspiration, motherhood, chasing dreams and how to balance it all with a smile. When she isn't running, you'll find her playing with her kids on the beach, hiking, baking or reading. Natalie and her family also love to travel and you can find pictures of their outdoor adventures at NatRunsFar.com and social media. She is an ambassador for Procompression and Stonyfield. Follow her daily musings on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NatRunsFar.