Double Knot Your Shoe Laces and Other Pre-Race Advice

If you haven’t already, please check out Gwyn’s guide to pre-race mental preparation. part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Susan and I had a couple of good talks about race-prep after the workout on Saturday and with Kris (who has competed many endurance races including several Ironmans) on Sunday over way too much coffee. Some of these are general and some are specific to Tough Mudder. Please add your pre-race advice to comments.

Week before:

  • Pack your race bag, no, it’s not too early.
  • Clip your toenails and any other grooming/foot care you may need.
  • Review the race website, including the course map, and any emails from the race, fill out any paperwork necessary. Know what you need to get your number/bib.
  • Know who your teammates are and where and when you will meet them. Get their contact info.

Day before:

  • Stay off your feet, rest, read, etc.
  • Drink water but not so much that you flush your electrolytes.
  • Mobilize, but don’t over do it.
  • Very easy workout “to keep the juices flowing.” Warm-up for 10 – 15 min, 4 rounds of 10 – 20 sec fast run, rest 1 min between rounds, easy 5 -10 min cool down. Mobilize post workout.
  • Check out the start/finish area. Check in if you are able to without being upright too long.
  • Review why you are there and take some quiet time to visualize yourself doing what you came to do.
  • Read or watch something inspirational, like Born to Run or Chariots of Fire or possibly Die Hard. 🙂
  • Review your race bag did you remember your race food/drinks, sunscreen, hat, Chapstick, extra socks, salt tablets or electrolytes, gloves, warm-hat, sunglasses, post-race change of clothes, recovery drink/food, Body Glide, lucky charms, small towel or anything else you will need at the race?
  • Eat a good dinner and go to sleep early.
  • Day of the race:

    • Double knot your shoe laces.
    • No Advil or other NSAIDS race day.
    • Eat at least 2 hours before your start time.
    • If you have stomach issues, eat what you can, don’t worry, you will settle down on course and be able to eat then.
    • Leave some extra time to get to the start line/registration, more people means more traffic.
    • Eat a gel or easy to digest carbs with some water, 5 min before start.
    • Set your watch, or make sure someone on your team does, for every 30 min. Drink and/or eat something when the alarm goes off. Strive for 1 – 2 gels every hour and 15 – 25 oz every hour.
    • If you and/or your teammate(s) are feeling depressed, pitiful, sad and/or in general, suffering, eat something.
    • Have fun!


    • Eat and drink something ASAP.
    • Mobilize.
    • After your shower and food and before bed, walk a about 15 – 20 min.

    Day after race:

    • Walk a little before you get into the car for the drive home.
    • Drink some water.

    Week after race:

    • Take Monday off.
    • Go easy for the week on the card. Intensity is good but volume should be reduced.