Do you have any race day rituals?? 

Race day can be a time of heightened anxiety with imposter syndrome emerging and psychosomatic symptoms developing, all of which can potentially lead to a negative mindset before you even reach the start line!! 

So, today we are going to chat about how having Race Day Rituals in place may help minimise any angst and help maintain confidence as YOU step up to the start line. We will; 

  1. Discuss why Race Day Rituals are Valuable and what these rituals may include
  2. Give hints and tips on putting rituals in place

A BIG thank you to our Show Sponsor AMAZING JANE ACTIVE WEAR. Please use discount code RHH10 for 10% off ALL purchases at



Aileen and Karen share their Race Day Rituals including: 


  • The day before the race Aileen lays out everything she will need for day. For example; clothes, food and drinks 
  • On the morning of the race Aileen gets up early and goes downstairs to have ‘me time’ before everyone else gets up. She has tea, breakfast then a shower…in that order!!
  • Aileen listens to the SAME music before every race. She finds it motivates and energises her before the gun fires!!


  • On the morning of race day Karen eats breakfast as soon as she wakens. It is ALWAYS the same breakfast of overnight oats soaked in yogurt with a little more yogurt added in the morning accompanied by a glass of water
  • Karen ALWAYS has a shower before a race BUT not before a training run!!
  • Karen has “race attire – outfits she wears on race day ONLY! 


Considering WHY rituals may be a valuable tool for a runner on race day. 

It is thought that rituals may help a runner (or any athlete) on race day because rituals help establish a sense of purpose and control at a time when a runner may feel out of control.  


Highlighting some Rituals carried out by professional athletes including: 

  • A female distance runner who straightens her hair at the start line just before the gun fires 
  • Another athlete who lies in child pose before leaving his house/hotel on race day 
  • Another who meticulously folds a jumper before putting it into his race pack!! 


Giving some TIPS around sleep rituals before race day. Some to consider include:

  • Eating your last meal at least 2hrs before bed time. For example; around 7pm-7.30pm to ensure you are not overfull at bedtime. 
  • Complete ALL tasks by 8pm including; work, household, and financial tasks 
  • Consider introducing a short meditation or yoga session


Outlining some Food Rituals to consider including:

  • Introduce food rituals the night before the race
  • For dinner the night before choose a meal you know you will enjoy, but also one that is high in carbohydrate AND Protein 
  • Aim to eat your evening meal at around 7pm


ACTION POINT to help you consider a ritual that may support YOU on race day:

Reflect on what triggers feelings of anxiety/nervousness on race day for you. Then, consider what you could put in place CONSISTENTLY prior to a race to help alleviate these feelings. 

For example; If digestive distress is a fear and one that makes you anxious on race day, choose a breakfast that you have practiced with FREQUENTLY in training that has not led to any issues. At all future races (and in training), eat the same breakfast and remember to eat mindfully. 

 Download our FREE E book TOP Running Snacks and Nutrient Timing to Fuel Peak Performance 

Related Topics:

Race Day Success: Nutritional Strategies

Sleep Essentials for Running Performance

Design Your Race Day Nutrition Plan


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

A BIG thank you to our Show Sponsor AMAZING JANE ACTIVE WEAR. Please use discount code RHH10 for 10% off ALL purchases at

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Best Wishes and Happy Running!

Karen and Aileen