How to run a perfect race

Every runner wants to run a great race.   Below are some running or racing tips that I picked up to help you manage the road and maneuver between runners safely and quickly.


  • Start your watch when you cross the start line.  Runners are tempted to start their watch when they hear the gun go off.  If this is a big race, it will probably take you 2-5 minutes to reach the start line.
  • It’s very tempting to blast out of the start line with lots of speed, but pace yourself and start slow and pick up the pace once the crowd thins out.
  • Run on the inside of turns.  If the road curves to the right, run on the right hand side of the road.  Likewise, if the road veers left, run on the left side.  You will run less and more efficient.
  • If the road is straight and unwinding, stay in the middle of the lane.
  • Look for room when passing.  Don’t force your way thru a crowd and annoy all the runners in front of you.
  • Be patient.  Don’t weave in and out between runners.  You will waste a lot of energy and not get very far.
  • Watch out for runners listening to Ipods or MP3 players.  If you are passing them, they might not hear you coming.
  • Do not cut corners, or take short cuts.
  • There are other racing etiquettes to keep in mind while running a race.  See more -  running etiquettes 1, running etiquettes 2.


  • Drink little sips of water.  Don’t take huge gulps, you’ll end up wanting to go to the washroom or you might get cramps.
  • Only drink gatorade if needed.  It makes you more thirsty and you’ll want more water later.
  • Skip the water station if you are not thirsty.  Be careful when passing thru one because there will be water cups scattered all over the road.  It’s easy to slip on wet pavement.
  • Try to take little sips of water and run slowly.  If you stop suddenly, you might get the urge never to start again.  The pain will be over soon.
  • If it’s really hot, you might want to grab 2 cups of water and pour 1 cup on your body to cool down.


  • Save enough energy for a strong finish.  Pick up the pace when you see the last mile or 2km’s left in the race.
  • Breathe deeply and don’t hyperventilate.
  • Make sure you absorb all the cheering and shouting in the finishing stretch to make you finish stronger.  They are cheering for you and you should be proud to finish your race.
  • Pick out a runner that’s in front of you and aim to pass them.  Does not matter if you do, but the chase makes it more exciting.

Hope these tips help you during your race.  Remember the pain is only temporary.  Finish the race and celebrate your achievement afterwards.

Related Running Tips:

  1. What to expect at your first race
  2. Racing etiquette
  3. Proper running etiquette
  4. What to eat for post race recovery
  5. Pre-Race Checklist
  6. What to eat during a race
  7. Paris Marathon 2010 Pre-Race Info & Registration

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