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.