It's getting to be that time of the year when we have our BIG events coming up. Whether it is the Chicago Triathlon, Chicago Marathon or Fox Valley Marathon (there are plenty of others!), you can always do your best to make sure things go your way on race day. Here are some great steps for success, especially for the Fox Valley Marathon:
-Make sure you have all of your gear ready in advance of the race. You don't have to be on your phone every five minutes checking the weather, but be prepared for the temperature range for the day. The historic avg high is roughly 75 degrees and the low is 54 (Fox Valley). Will you be chilly in the morning? Remember you can wear clothes to the race and check your gear before the race starts. If the race ends up being a little chilly, you can use arm warmers to keep those arms warm, without putting on extra layers. The beauty of arm warmers are that you can roll them down or back up depending on the weather situation. Once you have all of your gear planned, lay it out the night before to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. You can even send that picture to friends, so that they know what you're wearing in the morning.
-Have a plan (but don't be married to it). Know how you want your race to go, while also being realistic. Know when you are taking gels, water and what some of your splits will be. Above all else, plan for the unexpected. You may drop a gel, miss a water stop, trip and fall, have a shoe lace come untied, etc... How can you plan for that? Sometimes you can't, but you can just keep a smile on your face and do the best you can with a given situation. This leads me to my next point on how to be able to keep a smile on your face if something goes wrong....
-Use a pace group. We are providing the Fox Valley Marathon Pacers, and their jobs are to get you to the finish line on time, all while being a guide of the course. They will run even splits, even efforts and help you to the finish. If you have questions about the course, during the race, they are the ones to ask. They'll be the ones holding the signs at the race start. So line up with them and you'll be golden.
-Have Fun!! It's a tough, but exhilarating day for everyone, so just remember that it's supposed to be fun. Smile for the pictures, give high fives, give words of encouragement and mostly, just have fun with the day. If you can enjoy yourself, it will be a success!