Prepping for Night Races

With 2 nighttime races coming up, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately.  How do I prepare for these nighttime events??

All of my training takes place during the day.  I try to get my runs in in the morning and CrossFit is generally in the early evening.  I have a pretty good eating regimen down and I know how my body will react.  I’ve been thinking about trying to get some late night runs in before the first race, but to be honest I’m not all that comfortable with it.  Even with proper reflective gear (which I don’t own yet), being a female running alone in the dark makes me a little nervous.  Yes, I could run on the treadmill, but that just doesn’t seem as effective when adjusting to nighttime running.  So I’ve decided to wing it for the first race and see how it goes.

However, I do have a game plan for the days leading up to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler for nutrition, rest, etc…  Here’s what I have so far:

September 24 – 27, 2012

  • Eat strictly Paleo
  • Drink a minimum of 100 oz of water per day
  • CrossFit – Mon, Wed, Thu
  • Minimum 7 hours of sleep per night (preferably 8)

September 28, 2012

  • 3:30 am wake-up call for flight to MCO
  • Breakfast: Boma at 10:30 am – stick to protein, light carbs and tons of veggies
  • Packet Pick-Up and tour the Health & Fitness Expo
  • Catch the tail end of the BOGP meet-up around World Showcase
  • Check into Boardwalk Villas and take a nap
  • Dinner: Flying Fish Cafe at 6:10 pm – salads, fish and take it easy on the dessert and cocktails
  • Return to Epcot for Illuminations
  • Early to bed
  • Drink a minimum of 100 oz of water
September 29, 2012

BOGP Chear Squad from 2011 5K!
  • 6:00 am wake-up call to cheer on the 5K runners!
  • Breakfast: Kouzzina at 9:45 am – Turkey Sweet Potato Hash baby!  And maybe a Bloody Mary…
  • Relax by the pool and take a nap
  • Stroll around Food & Wine Festival for a light lunch
  • Dinner: Portobello at 4:00 pm – split a pizza and grilled chicken entree
  • Keep drinking TONS of water!
  • Take a nap
  • Head over to DHS at 7:30 pm
  • Snack of bagel with peanut butter and a banana at 9:00 pm
  • Gu before race start
  • Beer at the finish line 🙂
So that’s the plan.  Naps, nutrition, water…I think I have it all covered.
What do you think?  Am I on the right track?  What are you doing for your pre-race plan?


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  • You’re very organized! i like to hear how people prepare, and I think it’s great to share these plans – not to copy them, but to work off of them and make the tweaks necessary for each person’s individual needs 🙂

  • I’m a morning runner – I’m gonna wing it too. Your game plan looks good; just keep in mind that there’s a lot of talk now among runners about the potential health risks of drinking too much water before and during a race (just google “running” and “hyponatremia”).

    • That’s a good point about the water. I generally drink about 100 oz per day on average, but I do need to watch it on race day. Thanks for the reminder 😉

  • wow, you are so much more organized than I am! I guess since I’m running the 5k though instead of a 10 mile run that’s okay. So I am planning on drinking a lot of water, eating lighter/healthy food on the 4 or 5 days leading up to the race.

    The day before I am flying into MCO so I probably will skip breakfast or do some fruit then have lunch somewhere that afternoon… maybe at our resort. The big “problem” is I’m meeting Laura and Vince at AoA that night to explore the resort and have dinner in the food court. I am SO tempted to try their Indian inspired food but I know I shouldn’t… so I”m going to have to say no. Guess I”ll stick to maybe pasta or some meat for dinner? After we’re going to see Yee Haw Bob and again I have to resist the temptation to stay out late or eat any snacks (definitely no alcohol!).

    After I finish my race Saturday morning though anything goes!

    Sounds like you’ve got it all under control!

    • Sounds like you have a pretty good plan yourself! I would agree and probably stay away from the Indian food the night before. Go for something a little more plain. A good combination of carbs and lean protein is always a safe bet. I forgot about YeeHaw Bob…I need to add that into my plan for Friday night!

  • Definitely looks like you’re on the right track with your plan! I had a late lunch / early dinner at around 4pm before Wine & Dine last year and then a snack right before the race and it worked out perfectly.
    I do most of my running in the morning, but I’m really a night person so I loved the late night race, it’s definitely a totally different experience! Good Luck!

    • Glad to hear that the meal plan worked for you! Makes me feel a little better. Nutrition on that day has been my biggest concern.

  • Wow, girl. This was a great little article. I haven’t put hardly ANY planning into this race. Was just gonna boot up my Couch to 10K program and go from there…

    I have been trying to train, but I am up to only about 5 miles. I guess I’ll be doing a lot of walking…. 🙂

    I haven’t even thought about meals, etc. You are way more dedicated than me. I am really proud of you and all you have accomplished with your running and even this blog over the past year (?) – wow, has it been that long?

    I am driving in late Friday night after work, hanging out Saturday, running Saturday night, and driving home Sunday afternoon. I’ll probably be dead by work Monday AM.

    I can’t wait to see you! I’ve heard a lot of people are running. Save me a button! 🙂

    • I feel much better when I have a plan laid out…I’m hoping it works! 5 miles is plenty to finish this race. I was only up to 8 miles when I ran my first half. Remember when we all thought we were going to die at the 5K 2 years ago?? Look at us now! You are nuts with that schedule, but definitely dedicated!!

      Thank you so much for all the kind words!! It’s been a lot of fun and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 Can’t wait to see you!! xoxo

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