Everyone has their own race day routine that they swear by, and if what you're doing works then that's great. However, if you are in the dark about how to get ready for a big race, then you should try these tips and stretches.
Your pre-race breakfast should include carbs and proteins — popular choices include toast or a bagel with peanut butter or an energy bar — and should be eaten 2 to 3 hours before the race to eliminate any bathroom issues later. After you've eaten, keep drinking water until 30 minutes before the race begins.
About 50 minutes before the race begins, do some light jogging and then begin stretching your hamstring. Loop a yoga belt or towel under one of your feet, and then lift that leg as high as you can. Increase tension in the strap once your leg is as high as it can go, and then switch to the other leg.
Extend your legs in front of you next to each other and loop your strap or towel around one of your feet. Keep resistance in the strap and flex your foot, pulling your toes toward you. After 10 reps, switch to the other foot.
Lie on your side with the leg not on the ground bent behind you at the knee, and your arm near the ground fully extended above your head. Your other arm should be holding the ankle of your bent leg, and then pulling it towards your butt as far as possible. Do 10 reps on each side.
When it gets to be 10 minutes until racetime, begin shuffling back and forth on widely spread legs with your arms stretched out to your sides. Every other skip, bring your arms into a cross over your chest. Do this for 30 seconds.
Hop straight up and lift your left knee leg to your chest and kick out your left leg. At the same time, punch up with your bent right arm. Alternate to the other side quickly as if it were jogging in place. Do this for 30 seconds.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Spend 30 seconds jogging while kicking up your heels to hit your butt as you go.
Another self-explanatory warm up. Simply bring your heel up behind you and extend the leg behind you and lower your foot. Repeat, and swing your arms as you go. Do this for 30 seconds.
Five minutes before the race begins, do 4 to 6 30-second strides. Build each of these strides up to the point of a near sprint, and then shake it off before the next one. This will help you get rid of your jitters and get you ready for the run.