A how to on race day prep as a couple for a marathon, relay, or any other running event in the days leading up to your race.
It’s here, it’s finally here! It’s officially race day weekend. My husband Brad and I have been preparing for a half marathon relay since the new year. 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?
Race Day Prep with Your Partner
Tapering & Stretching
Since we race as a couple, we also do a lot of our training together. We spent 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 cross-training with long stretching routines. We usually hit the outdoors to get a good stretch of our quads, hamstrings, and calves an even use 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 for every hour we’re awake. Carb loading is next and don’t mistake this as eating everything you want the night before a race. You’ll feel awful if you do that.
Three days out we spend an evening cooking our favorite Italian meals with whole grain pasta together to take in complex carbs. Two days out we split a meal of simple and complex carbs. 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 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 never to be found again! This year I lost a diamond in my band on race day and thus we’ve officially made our switch to Enso Rings.
With our active lifestyles, we probably should have made the switch sooner. What we love about Enso Rings is the silicone composite is hypoallergenic, lightweight, and durable. They stand up to our cross-training days with weights, don’t slide around thanks to their grip, and adjust 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 metal 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
One of the most important parts of our race day prep is talking about the race. Whether we’re stretching or out on our carb-loading date night, we talk about what are needs are for race day. We discuss where we feel like our weaknesses are and how to be there to support the other. In 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 of race day with you is incredibly special, but also 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 we have a better understanding of tackling life together. I hope this encourages you to grab your partner and hit the road for a race.
Enso Rings makes stylish, silicone rings for men and women. You can see all the colors and styles at ensorings.com.