Everywhere Edge

Race to the Calm

Elyse Braner

Elyse Braner

September 30, 2009

Thanks to months of diligent training,  you’ve developed legs of steel, more energy than the Energizer Bunny.  And with race day approaching, a stomach that does back flips.

Keep the butterflies at bay with these handy tips from Elyse Braner, Graceful Edge’s Running Diva.
1.    Seeing is believing. In the weeks leading up to the race, practice visualizing your perfect race scenario, from arriving at the staging area, all the way to your post-race cool down.  Visualize yourself only repeating positive thoughts on race day and feeling confident.

2.    Jog your memory. 
Keep a running log of all of your training runs.  Review your log as a reminder of all your hard work preparation.  This will give you the confidence to know that you are ready for race day.

3.    Time is on your side….on the day before.   Start getting organized before race day. Pack your gear bag.  Pick out your outfit.  And if applicable, attach your timing chip and race number to your shoes and shirt, respectively.

4.    Play it again Sam. 
Keep to the tried and true and don’t try anything new on race day.  Use hard workouts or practice races to try out new energy bars, warm-up routines, and running gear.

5.    Early bird gets the worm.
   As well as access to “cleaner” porta-potties, less lines at bag check-in, better parking spot, etc.  Aim to arrive 45-60 minutes early - no one ever regrets having extra time before the race.

6.    Cue the body. Use the same warm-up routine for race day that you practice before hard workouts.  There’s comfort in routine and by doing your routine at the race, it’s like giving a sub-conscious heads-up to your body of what’s about to happen…run a hard effort.

7.    Feel special.  Wear something special on race day to give you that little mental boost.  Wear your hair in braids, your lucky socks, or do something a little edgy, like wearing a temporary tattoo.  I have a pearl necklace that I like to wear on race day.

8.    Tune out.
  Listening to music during your pre-race warm-up can help you relax and get you excited for your race.  Create a special mix of songs that gets you ready to rock.

9.    Race and treat.  Whether it’s brunch, ice cream sundaes, or a manicure, treat yourself to something special post-race.  When you are racing those hard miles, you will have something to focus.  And a post-race treat is more than well-deserved.

10.    Have fun.  Remember why you are out there…because you love to run!  Revel in the positive energy, and camaraderie.


Elyse devotes her time to her two passions:  running and spreading the love of running to athletes of all levels.   She is the President of the Washington Running Club, the Head Coach of the North Face Endurance Challenge, a coach for Weight Watchers and leads the run club at lululemon Athletica.  And for the tween set, Elyse coaches  for Girls on the Run.