Broad Street Run Champion Checklist

Race-day tips to help you hit your personal best

1. Make sleep a priority. The night before the race isn’t the only time when getting your Zzzs counts. “You should aim for adequate sleep the entire week before Broad Street so you’re energized and ready to go,” says Ross Martinson, co-owner of Philadelphia Runner, who recommends at least seven to eight hours of shut-eye per night.

2. Fight the urge to hit snooze. “Wake up two to three hours before the race starts,” says Martinson. “This gives your muscles time to warm up and plenty of time to make your way to the start. Expect the Broad Street Line to be packed.”

3. Fuel up first. “A pre-race breakfast helps stave off low blood sugar, keeps you energized, and can help settle a nervous stomach,” says Martinson. Eat two to three hours before the race and shoot for 100 to 300 calories, mixing carbs (a banana, a bagel) with protein (peanut butter, yogurt).

4. Strategize your cheering section. Seeing familiar faces along the race route can help you stay motivated, but it’s easy to miss your fans on the packed sidewalks. “Direct them to the nine-mile mark or FDR Park,” says Martinson. “They’re less crowded and great places for spectators.”

5. Make post-race plans. Plan something fun, like a tailgate or a celebratory meal at your favorite restaurant, after the race. “When running gets really tough, your last resort is to take your mind off of it any way you can,” says Martinson. “Having something to look forward to after the race can make a big difference.”

Originally published in the 2010 Be Well Philly supplement.