What to Do on the Morning of Your Race

Two and a half years ago, I was training for my very first half marathon.

I had been following a training program, so I was pretty confident that I’d be able to run the distance and finish the race. But when the night before race day came… I had no idea what I was doing. I had never run a long race before, so I didn’t know what to expect the next morning.

How early should I plan to wake up? What should I do in the morning? How early should I arrive to the race?

A blog post like this one would have seriously set my mind at ease, so I wanted to fully write out my schedule to help fellow first-time racers.

Today I ran my fourth half marathon. The race was set to begin at 7:03 am, and I live about 10-15 minutes away from the start line. Here’s exactly how my morning looked:


Race Day Schedule

5:30 am – Alarm goes off

5:35 am – Get out of bed, take dog out

5:45 am – Make breakfast (Protein shake: banana, frozen berries, almond milk, and vanilla protein powder)

5:50 am – Eat breakfast while getting dressed. Safety pin race number to shirt.

6:10 am – Poop. Brush teeth. (not at the same time)

6:15 am – Leave home, drive to race

6:30 am – Arrive, park, drop off gear at Gear Check, walk to starting line

6:35 am – Leave starting line to go to the bathroom again

6:45 am – Line up in your starting wave’s corral, do some light stretching

6:50 am – National Anthem

7:03 am – First Wave Starts

7:14 am – My wave starts!

— Run Half Marathon (and make sure to hit all the hydration stations!) —

9:15 am – DONE! Get your medal, stretch, take pictures for evidence, eat free food, revisit Gear Check

9:45 am – Find your car, drive home while avoiding roads that are blocked for the race

10:00 am – SHOWER

11:00 am – Lunch (eat something substantial, you burned a lot of calories!)

12:00 pm – NAP


My race went super well today; the weather was lovely, a ton of people were out cheering for the runners, my mom even came to cheer me on, and I ran my personal best! I also saw some really entertaining signs (the signs are my favorite part of race day!)… my favorite was the sign set up next to a dog that said “Pet me for speed!”

Your first race can be really intimidating, but hopefully having my schedule laid out will set your mind at ease a little bit.

You got this!!

Be happy. Be healthy.



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