Five Race Day Tips by an Avid Runner

Eudora Koh draws from her race experience to break down the top ways to prepare for a run of any distance.

No matter how long or short the distance, there’s an undeniable excitement all of us feel leading up to race day. But that aside, how do you make sure you’re ready to go and feeling strong for the day of?  

Here are five simple tips by Cold Tea Collective’s Eudora Koh for anyone preparing to run a race of any distance:

1. Wear the right footwear

You want to feel comfortable on your feet on race day, which means wearing the right pair of shoes for the occasion. I don’t recommend breaking in a new pair of shoes during a race. Instead opt for a pair that you’ve already ran in more than a handful of times to ensure guaranteed comfort.

Photo: Eudora Koh

2. Don’t over-eat

When I first started running over a few years ago, I believed in “carb loading”, which simply means to fill your body up with carbs with the expectation that it will give your body the energy it needs to perform during a race. But I’ve realized over the years that this isn’t true; you can still get the energy you need without excessive consumption of carbs. There’s nothing wrong with eating a bit more the day before your race, just make sure there are veggies, fruits, and lighter foods on the menu.

3. Get enough sleep

Like we all know, sleep makes all the difference in the world. Running a race while you are sleep deprived will create fatigue and you will feel it – literally. Not only do you need eight hours of sleep the night before an event, you should be sleeping a sufficient number of hours the entire week leading up to it. Take it from me – I am in bed by 9 p.m. the night before a race and up bright and early, ready to race!

Photo: Eudora Koh

4. Stay hydrated

I can’t emphasize this one enough. Making sure you drink water not only on the day of, but also leading up to your run. Like sleep, drinking enough water ahead of time makes a huge difference in how you feel on race day. But on the flip side, drinking too much water will mean more washroom breaks, which may interrupt your run. It’s about finding the right balance.

5. Load up a playlist or podcast

This one only applies to those of us who put our headphones on when running. And if you’re like me, you appreciate the motivation which music can provide, especially when things get mentally tough during a run. A good playlist can help you get through the mental obstacles and challenges. Likewise, podcasts are a great way to distract your mind and get you to think about something other than how difficult or “boring” (or so I’ve been told by many!) running is. Plus, you’ll get to learn something new with a good podcast.

Photo: Eudora Koh

Now that you’ve got the running tips, all that’s left to do is apply them to prepare for your next race! And if you’re looking for one, look no further.

The 7th annual Run for H2O is on June 15 and with each year, the event has grown and made more of an impact. This community run in Vancouver brings people together to raise money for clean and sustainable water projects in Guatemala. There’s a race for everyone to conquer – 10 KM, 5 KM, 1 KM for kids, and even a 50-m dash for toddlers! This volunteer led initiative is organized by HOPE International Development Agency and PentaSport.

So why not sign up for Run for H2O with some friends and family, apply the new tips you’ve learned above and be part of something bigger than a run; be part of giving the gift of clean water to those who need it the most.

If you’re planning on running the 10K or 5K, register soon! The price increases after May 31 to $40. For more information about Run for H2O, click here.

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