The Weekend Runner: Race Rituals

As races slowed down, I find myself spending more time on reading and researching about running. After browsing a few articles, I came across several interesting information: Before a race, Usain Bolt admitted to eating chicken nuggets as one of the ways to prepare himself. Killian Jornet wrote in his book ‘Run or Die’, that he will have a jar of Nutella after every ultra race. I’ll call these practices as the ‘race ritual’.


While your race rituals may or may not be similar to the fastest man on earth, I am sure most of us have a unique set of mental preparation – a set of step-by-step behaviour that only takes place on Race Day. Regardless of the distance, location, or type of race, I have certain procedures that I will follow consciously and unconsciously and why I think they help.


–        Pre-race rituals

1)     Laying out my clothes on the night before the race. I do not want to end up looking for my number bib at 4am. Also, nothing new on race day to prevent chaffing, weird colour coordination, or other outfit mishaps.


Which Nashata top and hijab goes well for tomorrow’s race?

2)     Eat. A lot. Carbo-loading, protein-loading, etc. Whatever you call it, everyone has different fuel and nutrition needs. Personally, I don’t see the difference, as long as I don’t skip dinner.

3)     Wake up at least 2.5 hours before flag-off time. Ample time to have breakfast, make coffee, warm up, and ensure that I get the best parking spot.

4)     Music on full blast while driving to the flag-off venue to get the adrenaline pumping. Confession: I love listening to Taylor Swift before every race.

5)     Check the race route. The elevation, road, a crazy uphill – basically, I need to study and know what I am in for.

6)     A quick facebook update once I am in the holding pen. And taking loads of pictures. I find that it helps to ease the pre-race jitters.


Good morning everyone what time is it? It’s Race O’ Clock!!!


–        Post-race rituals

Only 3:

1)     Finisher pictures with the medal.

2)     Eat. A lot. Because it feels rewarding to know that I deserve that 2 pieces of roti canai and kuih.


Not just desserts, but an extra piece of roti canai perhaps?

3)     Sleep and rest. I’ll be hibernating, do not expect me to emerge before evening.

Do you have your own race rituals? What about lucky objects, favourite socks, or something that you will never run without? Do you answer your phone or text messages on the morning of the race?


Signing off until next week,

The Weekend Runner.