Race Day Prep For A Couple
A how to prep for race day as a couple for a marathon, relay, or any other running event in the days leading up to your race.
This post is in collaboration with Enso Rings, all opinions are my own. For further details on sponsorships and collaborations please see the disclosure page.
It's here, it's finally here! It's officially race day weekend for us in the Heath home. If you've been following along since the New Year, you'll know that Brad and I are off to do a half marathon relay this weekend. With the hype of the race on our heels I thought I'd share how we get ready for race day as a couple. This will be our 3rd race we've completed together and it's something that has truly bonded our marriage. So how do we get ready for the big day in the days leading up to it?
HOW TO PREP FOR RACE DAY WITH YOUR PARTNER
Tapering & Stretching
Since we race as a couple then we do a lot of our training as a couple. We spend the week leading up to our races tapering off our distance and speed. This isn't the time to hit a long run, it's the time to take it easy to be refreshed for race day. We also take the days leading up to our race crosstraining with long stretch routines. We will hit the outdoors to get a good stretch of our quads, hamstrings, and calves. Using each other as resistance as we do so. Brad's favorite stretch? Hamstring. Elle's favorite stretch? Quads!
The Carb Load & Hydration
Three days before a long run race we start to carb load and hydrate. For hydration we normally keep a routine of consuming about 6 oz of water every hour awake. Carb loading is next and don't mistaken this as eating everything you want the night before a race. You'll feel awful if you do that. Three days out we will spend an evening cooking our favorite Italian meals with whole grain pasta together to in take complex carbs. Two days out we will split a meal of simple carbs and complex. Normally this is white flour pasta mixed with asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, eggplant, and pasta sauce. The night before (about 12 hours out) we will go out for date night to split one last pasta with a tomato based sauce and have a beer. This leaves us fueled for our race but to make sure we're hydrated enough, we will consume 12-16 oz of water a couple of hours before the start of a race. Elle's favorite carb snack? Pretzels. Brad's favorite carb snack? A beer!
Enso Rings & Gear Check
The night before a race we'll switch out our wedding bands for our Enso Silicone Rings. This exact race two years ago, Brad lost his wedding band in the marathon. It sweat right off to never be found again! Already this year I've lost a diamond in my band on race day and thus we've officially made our switch to Enso. With our active lifestyles, we probably should have made the switch sooner. What we like about Enso is the silicone is hypoallergenic, lightweight, and durable. They stand up to our cross training days with weights, they don't slide around thanks to their grip, and it adjusts to how my hands swell in the heat. Plus unlike our wedding bands if we were to lose them, they are much easier to replace. I wear the Women's Stackables because I like how thin the bands are and I can have fun switching all 12 colors around. Brad is a fan of the Ultralite because it feels like wearing nothing and the Infinity because it's similar to his mental wedding band.
The night before a race we'll sit down and go through all of our gear. Do we have enough safety pins? Is there any questionable fraying on our laces? Are the nip bandaids out? Are our electronics charged? We put everything neatly into piles to make getting ready in the early hours easier. If a race has gear check then we also fill our bags with everything they need (car keys included) to avoid running around trying to find everything in the morning. My must have gear? A hat or sunglasses. The sun is my pale skin's weakness so the shade on my face makes the biggest difference. Brad's must have? His Enso ring. "I just still feel so guilty about losing my wedding band!" - Brad
TALK ABOUT IT
Lastly, we talk about it. Whether we're stretching or out on our carb loading date night, we talk about what are needs are out of each other for race day. Where we feel like our weaknesses are and how to be there to support the other. A race like a relay, we talk about how to go into the transition confidently and ideas of what the first runner will need to hear coming off the trail. As we go over our gear the night before we also talk our way through the course. We've each been at races where the racers ended up on the wrong course, so we want to be confident in our turns. While racing is just as much a physical sport, it's a mental one too. Having someone in your lane who has walked through the entire process to race day with you is incredibly special and vulnerable. So take the time out to support each other mentally on the race so you both can finish strong. Brad & Elle's favorite race day mantra "There's a beer at the end, there's a beer at the end."
This is how we get race day ready as a couple. Overall for us it's about coming together to accomplish a race as a team. The more we do races together the more our marriage has a better understanding of tackling life together. I hope this encourages you to grab your partner and hit the road for a race. To end this I asked Brad what his number one tip for race day was?
"Good running shoes and a good mentality will carry you to the finish line. The only races I've not finished have been from bad shoes that cause pain or my head wasn't in the right space." - Brad
"I'm going in the same direction. Like I mentioned in gear, for me it's a hat because the sun is my enemy but also it zeros in your focus on to the road ahead. Which sets my mind right to keep pushing forward." - Elle
Have you run a race before with your parenter? What advice do you have to give? If not is it something you would do? I'd love to know more down below!
Until next time, cheers!