Top 10 Race Day Tips from PowerBar Athlete Josh Cox

Josh Cox is the US 50k Record Holder, a 4-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, a 3-time US National Team Member and even starred on ABC’s Bachelorette show. He has won Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events in Las Vegas, Arizona and Nashville, and he set the American Record in Arizona twice. Here he dishes advice for your next race.

  1. If you’re flying to the race, pack all your race day gear in your carry-on. Bring your shoes, singlet, socks, and shorts with you on the plane. I didn’t do this once… once.
  2. Dress the invisible man the night before. Lay out your warm-up gear, pin your race number to your singlet, put your timing tag on your shoe, and have your gloves, socks, beanie, and anything else you use, on the floor ready to go. Take a photo and post it on social media, you’ll get encouragement and just might inspire a friend to run!  2011 P.F. Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon January 16, 2011, Phoenix, AZ Photo by: Lisa Coniglio 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET
  3. Don’t wear the official race t-shirt in the race. Unless said t-shirt is more than a decade old, if that’s the case, feel free.
  4. Wear what you know – don’t do anything new on race day. Wear shorts, singlet and shoes that you trust and know well. If you must buy a new racing kit at the expo, wash it first.
  5. Eat what you know – don’t do anything new on race day, My routine: Wake up 3.5 hours before the start, have coffee, white rice, a PowerBar, and water just before the start.
  6. Don’t cut in line at the Porta Potties. It’s not nice and the race gods will punish you.
  7. Don’t chafe or bleed. Sounds simple enough, right? It can be if you apply Body Glide or Vaseline to the right areas. General rule: if it rubs, it can bleed. Don’t believe me? Run longer. Be sure to clip and manicure those toenails too.
  8. Start conservative and when you feel good, don’t pick up the pace… the next time you feel good, don’t pick up the pace… the next time you feel good, don’t pick up the pace, the next time… you get the picture. Once you’ve completed 3/4 of your race, you can let ‘er rip. There’s no such thing as banking time in a race, run even splits.
  9. Stay hydrated. In the days leading up to the race have an electrolyte drink in your hand. During the race, drink early and often, once you’re thirsty it’s too late. The hotter it is the more you must hydrate, so drink those fluids and remember Tip 8.
  10. Have fun. We’re not negotiating world peace; it’s a race, enjoy yourself! Write your name on the front of your racing top – it works wonders. Give high fives along the route, when you come racing to the finish this becomes doubly important.

Bonus tip: Refuel with protein and carbs. I always have a PowerBar ProteinPlus bar then have some fun and enjoy the post race celebration!