What is a race day plan and why do you need one?
On the day of a race you ideally should be as relaxed as possible so that your focus can be on competing to the best of your ability and not worrying about other things. Being prepared and planning in advance can significantly help you avoid any race day hiccups and help you mitigate against any unexpected events that might occur on the day of your competition.
In general, a race day plan is personal to you and lays out the times and activities you will complete on a race day, such as the time you get up, what and when you eat, when you warm up, call room time etc. Having these times planned out in advanced can make sure you are not rushing/don’t miss out on a meal time/have enough time to get ready in a relaxed manner.
A race day plan should be written up a few days in advanced and can be as detailed as you like, but of course does not necessarily have to be followed minute by minute. Your plan should provide enough detail that you have a clear view of the main parts of your day such as warm up time, eating times, race time and any transport related deadlines (having to leave for a lift/bus/train etc).
A good way to start is to look at your competition timetable for your race start time and work backwards, factoring in how long it will take you to warm up, travel time etc. Be sure to factor in some extra time for traffic, toilet breaks, queues for the bathroom and other unexpected delays.
It can be useful to list out your race day plan on the notes section of your phone to ensure you keep on track. An example race day plan for someone running two races in a day could look like the below.
08:00 Get up
08:30 Breakfast (Toast, banana, coffee & water)
09:00 Get dressed & double check packed bag
10:15 Rest stop
11:00 Arrive at track
11:15 Check in
11:30 Warm Up (Jog, stretch, drills)
12:00 Spikes on (3 x strides & 2 from blocks)
12.15 Last bathroom stop off before race
12:30 Call Room
13:00 Race 1
13:15 Light jog and stretch
13:30 Eat: Banana, rice cakes, sports drink
14:00 Light re-warm up (Stretches & drills)
14:30 Spikes on (2x strides & 2 from blocks)
14.45 Last bathroom stop off before race
15:00 Race 2
15:15 Jog cool down & stretch
15:30 Eat packed lunch/Rehydration : 500ml water
15:45 Leave for home
⭐️Tip : Set your phone alarm for key times such as Warm up time and Call room time so that you get an obvious reminder, as sometimes you might get caught up talking to someone/watching a race and end up having to rush. Having the alarm go off can remind you to refocus on your own competition and get back on schedule.