The Pre-Race Ritual

Good morning to you too! On July 1 I ran the Canada Day 5k at the bright and early time of 7:30am! I could have posted this closer to the actual race, but I need posts for you people for when I’m gone! (Aka now.) I treated this race as good practice before cross-country season in the fall (when you will see many more running posts) and so I tried to take it pretty seriously. After my year off from racing last year (knee injuries, I could write 25 posts on that topic), I’m 110% determined to rock it my final year.


In the blogworld especially, the focus is all on half-marathons and marathons, but when done right, a 5k is intense. The ultimate goal is a sub-20, but that will take time. For this race, I was hoping for ~25 minutes. (I’m out of shape!)

But since it started at 7:30, and then you take into account my essential pre-race activities, my idiot lovely alarm clock woke me up half an hour before dawn. (That’s 5:30 people!) I know Amanda and Lisa regularly wake up hours before even this, and I have to say…I’m impressed. morning(Via)

It’s definitely not something I would like to repeat. BUT, it had to happen because of THESE lovely shenanigans going down in approximately 1.3 minutes.

5:30-5:40am (1 hour before departure): Wake up. Lay in bed and curse the gods that are making me wake up this early. Finally fall get up out of bed and get going.

5:40-6:00: Breakfast! I need a decent amount of time to let my food settle before running, but I’m not one of those people with the stomach of a five-year old. (No offense! Just an observation.) I personally never have the standard pre-race breakfast I’ve seen around the blogworld of PB toast + banana because I’m still starving after. I just have greek yogurt with berries, 1/2 a banana and a small 2% latte. Done. yogurt2

6:00-6:30: This time depends on several things. If I was smart, everything was laid out the night before and getting dressed and putting my stuff together will take less than 10 minutes. On the other hand, I might have been lazy and done nothing. On this particular morning I did lay it all out, but then suddenly forgot how to do a ponytail. So that took me around 10 minutes. (It has to be perfect, okay?!)

I managed to delete all the pictures I took of my gear so these beauties will have to suffice.

6:30-6:35: Before any event, whether it be running, skiing, soccer, you name it, I always have to take a few minutes to centre and collect myself. I take it more seriously for important races, but it still gets done every time regardless. Yesterday morning, it was completed while playing candy crush. 😉


6:40-6:50: Jog down to the start. It’s about a mile away, so I kept it nice and easy.

6:50-7:10: Deal with logistics. There actually weren’t many for this race in particular, given how close and short of a race it is, but there was still stuff to be done. Get my bib, waste a million safety pins getting it on, retie my shoes 13 times, you know, the usual.

7:10-7:25: Active warmup. Once the blood is flowing from my startup jog, I will typically spend some time doing high knees, butt kicks, lunges, and (short) sprints.

7:30am: Put on your speedypants and RACE!


So although this wasn’t The Race of All Races, my race morning/pre-race routine generally stays the same throughout all the events I do. Yes, the food might change slightly and the hours obviously do, but this is what I do to make sure I perform the best I possibly can!

What’s on your pre-race to-do list?


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