Cross Country Race Day Prep



  • Make sure that the athlete is registered for the meet
  • Have good healthy meal for dinner
    • Many athletes like pasta or other carbohydrate type food
    • Minimize fatty, greasy, and real cheesy foods
    • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best
      • Gatorade before a race is not recommended. Gatorade replenished lost electrolytes and sugars.  Intake of Gatorade prior to running can cause an electrolyte imbalance and could hamper racing.
    • Make sure to have everything needed packed or ready to go
      • Running top and shorts
      • Shoes to race in with dry socks
      • Shoes to do the walk through and warmup in.
    • Get to bed early. Make sure to get plenty of rest.



  • Get up early so that the body is awake and alert
  • Have a light breakfast. Most of the energy needed should have been eaten the night before.
    • Appropriate –
      • Cereal with minimal milk, Toast with jelly, bagel (very minimal cream cheese), cereal bars, fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, etc)
      • Make sure to get hydrated by having some water, orange juice, etc.
    • Not appropriate –
      • Bacon and eggs, pancakes with syrup, biscuits and gravy
      • Basically anything that is heavy and will sit in the stomach
    • Dress Appropriately – please dress for the weather
      • Make sure to have uniform for the race
      • Athletes should have clothes to wear to keep them warm
        • The goal is to make sure the body is warmed up so blood is flowing throughout the body.
        • But we also don’t want anybody to over heat
      • Athletes should wear a pair of shoes (boots if the course is wet) walk through in.
      • Athletes should also have a pair of separate shoes to race in with a pair of dry socks. Spikes are recommended but certainly not necessary.



  • Athletes should begin the warm-ups 30-45 minutes before the race.
  • 15 minutes before the race change into racing shoes
  • Before reporting to the starting line, athletes should make one final bathroom trip
  • Athletes should get to the starting line about 5 minutes before scheduled start.
    • While waiting to start athletes should do some jumping jacks, bounces, etc to stay warmed up and loose
    • Do 1 to 2 run outs (practice starts)
    • Make sure to remove all warm-ups and excess clothing
  • Listen to the commands of the starter
  • Run a great race because you have worked hard and are prepared.
  • Run completely passed the finish line


  • Make sure to get rehydrated
    • Now is a good time for the Gatorade
  • Cheer and congratulate the rest of your team
  • Make sure to see your coaches
  • Go for a little jog with your teammates for a cool down


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