The Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon is only 30 days away! Whether this is your first Walt Disney World runDisney event or you are a seasoned veteran, I have some tips to make your marathon weekend a breeze.
Train and taper properly prior to the race: You can check out my Princess Half Marathon training plan for a 12-week plan to get you ready for the race. Make sure that as part of your training plan, you taper and rest the days prior to the race. Rest is part of a proper training plan and it is essential to staying injury free and running strong on race day.
Book your advanced dining reservations: You can book your Walt Disney World dining reservations 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE or through MyDisneyExperience on the Disney Website. I plan to book a reservation for a nice restaurant the evening after the half marathon to celebration my finish. My favorites are Ohana, California Grill and Narcoossee’s. Notice that the three I recommend at are all at the Walt Disney World resorts. You can certainly book a dining reservation at a restaurant in the park if you will be at one of the WDW parks that night.
Pack: Packing for a destination race is a double challenge because you not only need to pack all of your clothes, toiletries and essentials, but you also need to pack all of your running gear. There is nothing worse than arriving to a race unprepared. I pack everything from my running massage stick to my Garmin to GU to ensure that I have everything I need. You can download my free destination race packing list for a comprehensive checklist of everything you need.
When you arrive
Go to the Expo early: Try to get to the runDisney race expo early. You need to attend to pick up your race packet , however, you can also find tons of runDisney race merchandise at the expo as well. During the Walt Disney World marathon I was able to get my finisher’s shirt and runDisney trading pins. The longer you wait, the more the merchandise is picked over. When I went to the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon expo, all the merchandise was gone by the time I arrived. Lesson learned. The runDisney expo also have speakers and experts on running to provide tips on running, nutrition and more. I was able to meet Jeff Galloway during my last runDisney Princess Half Marathon. Jeff Galloway!!! I couldn’t believe it!
During the race
Relax and enjoy yourself: During the race relax and don’t stress out about setting a PR. A runDisney race isn’t the time to speed through to achieve your best time. It’s a great race to have a relaxing run, enjoy taking pictures with the characters and have fun! During my first runDisney event I was so worried about finishing that I didn’t stop to take pictures and I regretted it. Now I go into the race knowing that I will not run fast, but I will have fun!
After the race
Consider the Race Retreat: The runDisney race retreat offers a heated tent that runners can enjoy both prior to and after the race. The race retreat offers snacks, including bagels and bananas, coffee, as well as chairs and tables for relaxing prior to the race. After the race you can go back to the race retreat tent to enjoy a massage ($10 for 10 minutes), treats, special character meet n greets and private restrooms. There are also changing tents so you can change out of your sweaty clothes. It’s also great so your family has a place to meet you after the race.
Reward yourself: Running a half marathon is a great achievement and you deserve the best. Treat yourself to a special cake that you can have sent to your restaurant for your celebration dinner. Call 407-827-2253, the Walt Disney World bakery, to order your cake in advance. You can have a celebration cake with “Congratulations for finishing your half marathon!” or even add on balloons or Mickey ears. You deserve it! Check out the Disney Food Blog for more info on ordering a cake.
I’d love to hear your advice on running at runDisney race! Let me know what you think!