The Plan for Race Week

This should be a Manic Monday training recap post, but here’s the thing:  I only ran once last week (which I already covered on Friday), and didn’t do any other training.  First, I was sick.  And then I went out too hard on Thursday after not running for a week and a half and tweaked my hip.  And then, I started my push-up challenge and messed up something in my neck and left shoulder, so I was basically a mess.  I spent the weekend doing nothing but baking cookies, drinking beer, and playing video games while eating the aforementioned cookies.  Not exactly a high-powered training week.  The good news is, after taking a few days off, I feel 100% better.

But now, shit’s getting serious, because come hell or high water, I’m running 13.1 miles on Sunday morning.  At least, I think I am.  I haven’t gotten ANY communications from the race directors yet…  I was willing to give them a second chance after being less-than-impressed by the 5k they put on, but now I think this is just par for the course for this race company, and I may not race with them again…  Aaaaanywho…

I really need to focus up this week.  Eat right.  Hydrate.  Stalk the weather.  Do some short, easy runs.  Come up with a fueling strategy.  So without further ado, here’s the plan for this week.


  • Drink at least 60 oz of water
  • Run 2 easy miles at lunch (no faster than 10 min/mile)
  • When at friends’ house for dinner, stick to one beer or glass of wine
  • Stretch and foam roll for 15 minutes
  • Re-start push-up challenge (3 push-ups)


  • Drink at least 60 oz of water
  • Run 2 easy miles at lunch (no faster than 10 min/mile)
  • Cook a nutritious dinner
  • Stretch and foam roll for 15 minutes
  • 4 push-ups


  • Drink at least 60 oz of water
  • Run 2 easy miles at lunch (no faster than 10 min/mile)
  • Finalize race day outfit and fueling plan
  • Take it easy while out to dinner with friends–limit 1 margarita, make reasonably nutritious food choices
  • Stretch and foam roll for 15 minutes
  • 5 push-ups


  • Drink at least 60 oz of water
  • Run 2 easy miles at lunch (no faster than 10 min/mile)
  • Hit up Goodwill for Halloween costume pieces
  • Stretch and foam roll for 15 minutes
  • Push-up rest day


  • Drink at least 60 oz of water
  • Take it easy at work Halloween party–limit sugar intake
  • Packet pick up at local Fleet Feet (maybe pick up some treats/look at new shoes?)
  • Take it easy at “Boos and Booze” Halloween party–limit 3 drinks, go to bed before midnight
  • 5 push-ups


  • Drink at least 80 oz of water
  • Eat a big, balanced breakfast/brunch
  • Relax as much as possible, but also help clean the shop and house in preparation for wedding stuff
  • Eat a carbalicious dinner
  • Lay out flat Rae and supplies
  • Bed by 9pm


  • Wake up at 6 am
  • Drink a glass of Nuun and eat bagel with nut butter, banana and coffee
  • Double and triple check supplies
  • Leave the house by 7:30 am to get to race start by 8:30 am at the latest
  • Park, warm up, eat a Gu 15 min before start
  • Eat post-race burrito and wear medal all day

I realize that there’s quite a bit of running involved in this week’s schedule, but here’s why:  a) I doubt I’ll actually run all four of those days; I just want to put it on the schedule so I can get at least a few miles in, and b) I won’t have any time to get to the gym this week, so running’s all I’ve got, workout-wise.

For fueling on Sunday, I think I’m going to try taking Gu more often–every 3 miles instead of every 4, because I get sooooo tired and draggy at the end of long runs, and I really think I’m not getting enough calories.  I also plan to wear my Fitletic hydration belt, with one bottle filled with plain water and one filled with Nuun.

How do you prep for a big race?

Anyone else racing this weekend?

32 thoughts on “The Plan for Race Week

  1. dgobs says:

    Looks like a good plan! I’m impressed with the hydration plan especially… that was one area I definitely failed before my half (no surprise there!). I did, however, totally kick butt at the carbo-loading thing. I read a RW article about how to “properly” carbo-load, which I took to mean eating pasta for each meal for the 3 days before the race (with oatmeal for breakfast, not pasta), and I didn’t bonk at all during the race so I took that to mean I carbo-loaded correctly 🙂 If I run another half, I’m definitely going to replicate that tactic!

  2. veryrach says:

    ohmygosh you really were a mess last week-between the hip and the neck/shoulder OUCH! Good plan for this week though! Water & hydration is my key to everything. What are you trying to be for Halloween? Although this training has not gone great for you, I’m still excited to see how you’ll do with this race coming up. It makes my apprehension to a half marathon less intense knowing that everyone running may not be the best trainer ever, but still just getting out there, ready or not. Positive thoughts all the way!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Positive thoughts definitely help! Even though I may not be where I envisioned myself at this point in my training, I know I’m in decent shape, and I know I can finish no matter what.

      I’m going to be a scarecrow for Halloween–easy and cheap!

  3. SuzLyfe says:

    Yeah, you definitely had a rough one last week, so you are right to map out a plan to put yourself in good standing for your race–hydration, fueling, rest, and just enough exercising will do you a world of good. I like your approach of laying out the days, just do your best and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thanks, Susie! I managed a short, comfy run on lunch today, so I already like where this week is headed. If I can just stay on top of rest and hydration, I think I’ll be in a good place by Sunday 🙂

  4. Lily says:

    Nice plan! I’m running a half in a couple weeks, and definitely have to remember to start hydrating big time the week leading up to the race.

    • DarlinRae says:

      I got a water tracking app on my phone, which is helping A LOT. I realized that I was really overestimating how much water I was drinking.

      Best of luck on your half!

      • Rachel says:

        I have a 32oz Nalgene bottle that I keep open on my desk and work and I usually drink two throughout the day, plus several glasses of water at dinner time. I naturally drink a lot at meals, but having the open bottle on my desk helps me get enough water during the day, too.

  5. txa1265 says:

    Dehydration is a killer … I think you have a great plan. Control what you can and what you can’t … you can’t control. Just keep being smart – your basic fitness is in place already and you can do this!

  6. piratebobcat says:

    haha, I love how detailed our plans are – even the post race details. I like that name for the halloween party – boos and booze, nice! Good luck this week. I know you’ll do great!

  7. irishrunnerchick says:

    Great plan! Do you have a goal for your race? If it’s just for fun – don’t miss out too much on Halloween fun! Water and sleep – for sure! The hard work is done – so just relax and enjoy your week!

    • DarlinRae says:

      I’d like to PR for this race, which for me would be anything under 2:41, but I’d REALLY like to be sub-2:30. Just not sure it’s attainable after these last few less-than-stellar weeks. I mostly just want to have more fun than my last half, which was pretty tough.

  8. kebe51 says:

    I love how run 2 easy miles is “no faster than 10min/mile” Yeah, I’d be dying! You speed demon you! You are so going to rock this thing! I can’t WAIT to hear how awesome you do at your race. (I don’t want to jinx it with my prediction, but I look forward to saying an “I knew it!”) 🙂

  9. Kimberley@Black Dog Runs Disney says:

    Don’t know if you salt the ‘ritas, but you may want to lay off of it, or else the awesome hydration plan may not matter. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything, lol! You are going to totally rock this, no matter what your time ends up being. But a sub 2:30? You SO GOT THIS! Remember the cardinal rule though….CELEBRATORY CUPCAKES!

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