We all know runners who swear by a certain ritual before a big race.
One time I ate an entire box of frozen waffles. It was the best race I ever had. Now I won't race without eating my waffles!
Whether the purpose is to put you in the right state of mind, to ease you of your jitters, or to add a spoonful of luck to your big day, these small practices, unique to the individual, can help turn a good run into a great race!
We have compiled four of the most common rituals and superstitions. We know some of you will relate!
1. Getting Dressed In A Specific Order
I tie the left shoe before I tie the right shoe, but the right shoe has to go on first.
Having a different, but nevertheless, particular order for getting dressed on race day is one of the most common runner rituals. Some people have even confessed to putting their shorts on last, putting on everything else (even their shoes) first! Is this you? You're in good company.
2. Needing A Certain Article Of Clothing
I need my lucky socks for this race!
We've all heard of this one! The lightening bolt socks you wore when you had your best time, or those lime green running shorts you sported to your first half-marathon. These items are special to you, and starting a race without this one special item would totally mess with your head.
3. Finding A Number Association
There has to be a reason this number was chosen for me...
Are you guilty of this? You're assigned number 376: 3 - the number of siblings you have, 7 - the age of your dog, and 6 - the first digit to your phone number.
Whatever connections you come up with, finding these associations can help make you feel like your bib is a part of your destiny.
4. Creating New Sleep Habits
I sleep in my race apparel, with a map of the race under my pillow.
Because who says you can't prepare for a race in your sleep?
Whether you're taking a few extra steps to help propel you out the door the next morning, or you're hoping to soak up the race coordinates while you count sheep, there are plenty of reasons why you might make a few adjustments to your usual bedtime ritual.
If this is what you find comforting the night before a race, we say go for it!
These are just a few running rituals we've heard over the years. What intentional rituals or subconscious habits have you picked up?