How to Prep for a Race and Prevent Cramps While Running

running cramps, HOTSHOT drink
/ Jun 06, 2023

Racing season is upon us. You trained, you pushed, and you got the bib. Now, it’s race time!

Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a first-time 5K participant, prepping for a race is more than just lacing up your running shoes. For many, racing is something you have worked hard to prepare for and a passion you chase. Whatever your races mean to you, we’re here to help you master the art of race preparation and share crucial tips on how to prevent cramps while running.

The Night Before the Big Day: Preparation Is Key

Follow these proven steps to make sure you wake up race-ready:

1. Stick to Your Routine

When you sit down to dinner the day before your race, keep it boring! And by that we mean nothing new. That recipe you got at the Expo earlier in the day? Great to try on Tuesday, but not today. The last thing you want keeping you from the finish line is a GI disaster to ruin your race performance.

2. Keep Your Carbs in Check

A balanced approach to carb loading is crucial. While you need to fuel your body for the upcoming race, overdoing it can lead to discomfort. So, if you don't usually consume a huge bowl of pasta and half a baguette for dinner, don't do it tonight.

3. Hydrate Wisely

Hydration is key when considering how to prep for a race and how to prevent cramps while running. Make a point to drink plenty of water throughout the day and into the evening. Avoid too much coffee, tea, or other diuretic drinks that might interfere with your hydration balance.

4. Rest and Relax

Prioritize rest the day and night before the race. If pre-race jitters kick in, a low-intensity 2-3 mile jog can help calm you down. Avoid unnecessary physical strain, and get your mind and body in the right state for the challenge ahead.

5. Morning Preparation

Lay out your race gear, bib, and essential items (energy gels, HOTSHOT, Vaseline, iPod, cash, etc.). Double-check your morning travel arrangements and plan to leave early. Set multiple alarms to make sure you are on time. If you’re staying in a hotel the night before, order a wakeup call in addition to setting the alarm clock to be safe.

6. Mental Prep

Mental preparation is just as important as physical training. This is an exciting day—revel in that! Imagine the finish line. Visualize the toughest part of the race and how you’ll handle that. Remember why you’re here and how hard you worked for this race. We do this because we love it, right? Dwell on that. Then go to bed jazzed for race day!

As highlighted, race day and the days leading up to it aren't ideal for trying out new strategies. If muscle cramping has been an issue for you during training, consider building an anti-cramp solution like HOTSHOT into your routine ahead of the race. Cramp-free training can be a game-changer on race day, so take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable race experience.

Your race day success hinges on careful preparation and a thoughtful approach to pre-race routines. Follow this guide on how to prep for a race and how to prevent cramps while running, and you'll be well on your way to a fulfilling race day experience. Remember, you've trained for this. You're ready. Go out there and dominate!