Final Pre-Race Tips

This is it — the final days before the big race! This is what you’ve been training for, and it is almost race day.

Be aware that race officials and medical staff are there to keep you safe.

Athletes push themselves harder on race days and in the heat of competition. However, this also means they are at a higher risk for dehydration, muscles injuries and medical emergencies, such as heat stroke. Heat stroke is an especially important condition to be aware of on hot days. If your core body temperature gets too high during the competition, it can lead to altered mental status and difficulty functioning. If it is a very hot day and you become affected by heat stroke, that is a medical emergency! Event staff may start intravenous hydration, obtain rectal temperatures, put you in an ice bath or recommend transfer to a hospital. Look for the race officials and medical staff if you have any issues or do not feel well on the race.

Double check that you have all of the correct gear for race day.

You’ve put in a lot of time and energy to train for this event. Your mind and body are prepared for race day — make sure all of your supplies, race information and transportation plans are prepared, as well. Forgetting important equipment on race day can influence your focus and performance.

Stop training!

Wait, what?! Yes, this is a race, and to some people it is a competition, however, if you train up until the last day, your muscles will still be in a recovery phase at the time of the race. You want to be in the best condition possible at the time of the race, and that means giving your body plenty of time to recover before the big event. Focus on your nutrition and mental preparedness in the last few days before a big competition.

You’ve done a phenomenal job getting to race day. Enjoy the moment and be safe on the course!

Writer of the blog:
Nathan Wm. Skelley, MD
Assistant Professor, MU Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Sports Medicine Specialist, Missouri Orthopaedic Institute