There is a lot that goes into planning and getting ready for any Disney trip, but when you’re going for a RunDisney event you’re adding even more to your plate! Good luck to everyone heading down for Wine and Dine next month – and if you’ve got another RunDisney race in the future, save this advice for when you’re a month away! My next one will be in February for the Princess races, where I’m running the Fairy Tale Challenge.
In order to help stay organized and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important, I put together this list of things that I make sure to do in the last month before I head out to Disney for the races!
Final training runs
Hopefully you’ve been training for a few months now, and you’ll be down to your last training runs. I recommend the Galloway training plans, which are specifically designed to the Disney races, but there are plenty of others you can pick as well. You’ll probably have one more long run 2-3 weeks before your trip and then you’ll taper. Don’t skip these shorter runs in the last few weeks! You may have a lot going on with planning for the trip, but they’re very important to keep you in your best shape for the race.
Get used to waking up early
I’m not a morning person, so the early mornings of Disney races can be brutal. They usually start at 5:30am, but that means they want you on the bus from your resort around 3:30am. You’re looking at waking up at 3 in the morning. I’m not saying you should force yourself to wake up that early before your trip, but try to avoid sleeping in extra late so your body doesn’t get into bad habits, and plan a few of your runs earlier in the morning than you might normally do.
Plan a run costume
If you like the idea of running in costume (and I’m big on costumes!), make sure you have a plan. Etsy has lots of great options, but they often take time to make and ship, so you’ll want to have this figured out early on if you’re going that route. You can also make your own costume if you’re crafty, or put something together from bits and pieces you find. Don’t leave it until the last minute though!
Practice running in your costume
You might feel ridiculous, but it’s important that you practice running in your costume for a least one longer run. Costume pieces can be fickle, and you may not realize it until you test it out – you don’t want that happening on race day! Tutus may chafe, skirts don’t sit right, or your cape keeps slipping. If you’re self conscious head out early in the morning when it’s still dark, or do what my friend did and use a treadmill with a sign that she made which said “Princess in training”!
Finalize your food/dining plans
Fuel is so important when you run, so make sure you know what you’ll be eating the day before the race (and the morning of). If you’re looking for a sit down restaurant hopefully you’ve booked something ahead of time, but there are plenty of counter service locations which offer carb meals too. (I share my favorite places in Disney for carb loading here!) And think about the morning as well – what do you need before you start running? It can be a long time from waking up until you actually start (and finish) the race, so be prepared for that. Many of the food courts sell race boxes which have things like a banana, bagel, and peanut butter. You can also order groceries to be delivered to your Disney hotel to get exactly what you need.
Pack your race gear
There are some extra things you need when you run that you don’t want to forget if you can help it, and they might slip your mind in the flurry of packing. You know what works best for you, but some things I always need to make sure I have: nutrition (Clif shot bloks), water bottle with handle, sports bra, running shoes, flipbelt, headphones, throwaway jacket. You can check out my full RunDisney packing list here.
Print your race waiver
To get through the expo as easily as possible, print your race waiver and sign it ahead of time. You can do it when you get there, but this will make things go more quickly and you can make sure all of your information is correct ahead of time.
Finally, it’s so important to hydrate! This is always true if you’re running, but especially leading up to the race. It’s easy to slack that last week in particular. If you’re in the theme parks for a couple of days or traveling you may not consume as much water as you normally would, but it’s important to keep getting that water into your body.
Are you heading down for a RunDisney trip any time soon? What do you like to make sure you do the month before a RunDisney trip?