10 Best Racing Shoes Reviewed & Tested


Racing footwear must posses attributes which will help to increase and sustain effectiveness. Check out our guide on the best racing shoes.

For racers, ideal footwear needs to provide comfortable support in a lightweight, breathable package. They need to be  flexible and responsive enough to tackle and endure whatever the road throws at you. Many companies have branched out over the years, producing footwear that meets the needs of specific activities–this includes shoes specifcally designed for running races.

We have put together this “Top Ten” list, partly based on rankings and many positive and critical reviews from users and valid customers. So, let’s go ahead and dig right into this and take a look at what we came up with, and why.

Last Updated: March 11, 2018
By Giselle Killebrew:

This update brings several new additions that are sure to improve your times and help you win races and crush your current PR’s.


Nike Flyknit Racer
  • Nike Flyknit Racer
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Conforming Flyknit upper
  • Price: See Here
  • ASICS GEL - DS Racer
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Duomax support system
  • Price: See Here
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3
  • Mizuno Wave Sayonara 3
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Parallel Wave heel
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Racing Shoes


1. Nike Flyknit Racer

As we have seen before, Nike’s Flyknit Racer once again takes first across the finish line. This rather simplistic yet sleek design has quite a bit going for it. There's a lot more to say about these, so open the rest of the review below and check it out.
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Comfort / Stability
Part of the Flyknit family of running shoes, the Racer also has an upper from Nike’s innovative and breathable materials which conform nicely to the wearer’s foot, providing a confident fit. This is extremely important when your goal is to win. Large, loose or clunky footwear is obviously never an ideal choice when you are going for speed and endurance. At first glance you’ll notice that these do not have reinforcing overlays around the upper. The Flyknit construction is done so there are some areas which are sparsely knit to allow airflow, and others sections which are more tightly woven to provide stronger support.

Moving down to the midsole technology, which is made with Nike’s Phylon and Lunarlon foam. This premium lightweight cushioning system provide prolonged comfort to get you through long races, as well as exceptional ground control and responsiveness. In addition to the Lunarlon, These also have something that this company has been been successfully marketing their products around for years. These have an Air Zoom unit located in the forefoot for added cushion, as well as shock absorption.

Finally we come to the shoe’s outsole, which is designed for road racing. The waffleskin material has race specific diamond patterned treads for optimum traction for competitive situations.

Durability / Quality
In all, these offer the right amount of responsive control and lightweight cushioning to get a runner through any type of road race. These probably won’t provide suitable traction for off-road running or rough trails, but that’s not what they’re built for. These are still fairly new, but have already gained a decent following of impressed runners.

Cost or Value
The Flyknit Racer will set you back a bit in terms of cost, but most of us probably don’t expect newer models from this company to be cheap. Overall, They seem to be worth their price tag.
  • Lightweight & highly breathable
  • Air Zoom unit located in heel for added comfort
  • The diamond treaded outsole offers pretty good traction
  • Balanced combination of cushioning and responsiveness
  • Good flexibility
  • Flywire thread provides good support
  • Great durability
  • Allows for a good amount of spring in your step
  • Works well in different weather conditions (rain, or dry)
  • Expensive
  • Sizes may run narrow

2. ASICS GEL-DS Racer 11

With a clearly more minimal design, The DS Racer differs a bit from most other models from ASICS. Not only is the upper a little more low profile, but the sole doesn’t appear as thick as some of ASICS’ other running footwear. These are obviously built for speed.
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Comfort / Stability
We will work our way down, starting with the upper of this shoe. The seamless design is constructed of a very lightweight, breathable mesh material. It is reinforced with welded overlays that provide additional support as well as durability and form.

Moving down, the dual density midsole, which is built from the lightweight Solyte material and coupled with their Duomax system to provide added midsole support to meet specific running requirements. And of course, we can’t leave out the patented GEL cushioning that ASICS is known for.

The outsole is not an aggressive one, but does seem to offer plenty of road traction. Also, when you turn the shoe upside down, you’ll find a few ventilation ports under the forefoot to help keep the DS Racers reasonably breathable.

Generally, the customer reviews of this newer version of the DS Racer are quite positive, there are a few, although a small amount, that suggest that there are some issues with the back of the heel causing uncomfortable rubbing and irritation while running. However, the majority of the customer feedback has been complimentary, giving this on the number two spot on our list.

Durability / Quality
Asics high-abrasion rubber provides great durability and is made with quality materials. This running shoe will last a long time.

Cost or Value
The price of this running shoe runs average to expensive in cost.
  • Excellent breathability
  • Lightweight
  • Great amount of cushioning for such a low profile build
  • Seamless upper prevents irritation spots around the interior
  • Amazing flexibility
  • DuoSole technology provides great traction
  • Rearfoot gel cushioning system absorbs shock
  • Solyte midsole provides cushioning
  • Perforated sockliner adds comfort
  • Not the cheapest option
  • Some complaints of comfortability issues with the heel

3. Altra Escalante

The Altra Escalante is a neutral road running shoe that is sure to give you an additional speed advantage during your races. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and flexible features will keep you going and help you shred your times. These shoes utilize Altra’s unique Zero Drop Platform without sacrificing comfort—which is a difficult thing to achieve.
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Comfort / Stability

The Altra Escalante shoes is a lightweight, flexible, and comfortable option that can provide many advantages to all types of runners, specifically to those who want to improve their racing times. These shoes feature 25mm of cushioning along Altra’s EGO midsole for optimal cushioning and comfort—which can help with Plantar Fasciitis symptoms as well!

These shoes also feature a wide toe box, so it is comfortable even for those with wider feet or for longer races! The upper portion of the shoe uses knit fabric, which allows for optimal flexibility and a glove-like fit.

The shoe’s most unique comfort feature is its Fit4Her technology—which allows the female version of the shoe to provide a product perfectly tailored to the needs of the female foot.

Durability / Quality

Runners who use the Altra Escalante have found these shoes to be reliable and durable—with some runners reporting to use them for 200-300 miles before encountering any significant issues with the integrity of the shoe.

The outsoles of the shoe utilize a black rubber compound—this provides adequate protection from wear and tear experienced from running outdoors as well as presents the EGO cushioning, used by the shoe, from breaking down prematurely.

The durable tread provides additional stability and energy return during your runs—allowing you to perform to the best of your ability every time.

Cost or value
These shoes come at a high-cost, but are well=worth every penny given all of he features they provide.
  • Lightweight construction
  • Altra EGO midsole technology for optimal cushioning and comfort 
  • Durable
  • Flexible, thanks to the shoe's knit upper
  • Wide toe box
  • Zero drop platform 
  • Expensive
  • Size runs big for some users

4. Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11

The Mizuno Wave Ekiden 11 running shoes are specifically designed for shedding time and giving you a speed advantage during your races. Their lightweight nature, minimalistic design, and effective responsiveness make these shoes a perfect option for racers.
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Comfort / Stability
These shoes utilize Mizuno’s U4ic and AP+ technology to provide runners with optimal comfort while also enhancing their performance during their races. The use of these two features provides you with adequate cushioning without sacrificing the responsiveness or lightweight features of the shoe.

The upper portion of the shoes utilizes DynamotionFit technology, which allows the shoe to provide you with a glove-like fit—as well as increased responsiveness.

Although this a minimalistic shoe, it provides excellent shock absorption as well as smooth transitions—both of which allow you to run faster for extended periods of time.

Durability / Quality
The Ekiden 11 shoes are highly durable and long-lasting shoes. They utilize X10 carbon rubber for the outsole of the shoe---which heavily protects them from the gradual wear and tear they are frequently exposed as well as improves the shoe’s overall traction.
The AP+ technology used in the midsole also boosts the life of the midsole—without sacrificing the amount of cushioning provided.

Cost or Value
These shoes are about mid-range price for racing shoes. The features and durability they offer are well worth their retail price.
  • Lightweight construction
  • Improves your race time
  • Air Mesh upper for breathability
  • U4icX midole for optimal comfort 
  • AP+ technology for midolse comfort and durability 
  • X10 Carbon rubber outsoles for increased durability 
  • Dynamotion Fit technology for optimal responsiveness
  • PEbax Rnew plate for support and stability 
  • Sizing a about a half a size to large for some users 

5. Newton Distance Elite

Regardless of whether you are looking for a race day running shoe, or simply a training shoe, the Newton Distance Elite are guaranteed to improve your race times and help you deliver optimal results. These shoes are a top choice among racers and racing teams, and their results never disappoint. These Newtons are lightweight, comfortable, and incredibly responsive.
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Comfort / Stability
These race shoes were designed to fit your foot like a glove. They also provide you with a wide toe box—which is perfect for runner’s with wide feet as well as for long-distance runners. While these shoes do not provide a high amount of cushioning, they do provide adequate padding in the front portion of the shoe as well as a sufficient amount in the heel and mid-section.

The utilization of Action/Reaction lugs on the shoe’s outsole also provide an additional amount of cushioning for additional cushioning and optimal protection.

Durability / Quality
These Newton’s are designed for front striking runners—although they do work for heel strikers as well. However, if you tend to heel strike these shoes will wear out a lot quicker because of their lack of considerable rubber layering in the heel portion of the shoe. If you run on more technical, or trail-like, terrain these shoes will also wear out much quicker.

These shoes do have considerable durability if you run on level terrain or participate in road races.

Overall these shoes help you greatly improve your race times and, if you don’t use them for consistent training, they will last you for many many miles.

Cost or value
High cost, but well-worth the price if you truly seek to improve your race times significantly.
  • Lightweight 
  • Quick drying upper mesh 
  • EVA heel 
  • Action/Reaction midfoot
  • Assymetrical lacing system
  • Glove like fit 
  • Several color options
  • High cost
  • Break in period
  • Specifically for road racing

6. ASICS GEL Hyper Speed 7

You know, of course, that ASICS is going to have a couple of entries in this guide, being the running shoe giant that they are. The GEL-Hyper Speed, like the name suggests, it meant for speed. Therefore, the overall design of this one is going to be less bulkier than the trainers and many other models from this company.
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Comfort / Stability
The seamless upper is put together with flowing mesh, and is clear of internal irritation points. There are the typical welded overlays, which provide additional support and proper fit. These also have a perforated sockliner that works well with moisture drainage and improved airflow.

The SpEVA combined with the vented Magic Sole midsole allows the shoe to remain lightweight, well cushioned and breathable. The midsole on this model provides a bit firmer of a platform than previously. Although probably obvious, we still can’t forget to mention the ASICS’ GEL system in the rearfoot to reduce the impact of heel strikes.

Durability / Quality
The DuraSponge outsole is wrapped in their AHAR abrasion resistant compound for greater durability throughout continuous use. The traction on these is definitely best suited for road racing. These are probably not the best choice for the trails or obstacle races.

Despite a small amount of negative feedback from a few users, these definitely belong here. ASICS continuously puts out quality products that remain among the top choices with runners of all types.

Cost or Value
The price of the ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7 is quite affordable.
  • Improved guidance line enhances efficiency
  • Drainage holes in sole
  • Ideal for long distance runs
  • Lighter weight than previous versions
  • AHAR rubber outsole is quite durable
  • Rearfoot gel cushioning system absorbs impact
  • Seamless designs prevents irritation
  • Highly breathable
  • Too large of a toe box for some
  • Rocks can collect in the grooves and drainage holes

7. Saucony Type A6

The Saucony Type A6 running shoes are a lightweight, comfortable, and responsive option for runners specifically looking to improve their speed. These minimalistic shoes will help you crush your PR's and reach the running goals you set for yourself.
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Comfort / Stability
These shoes provide runners with a glove like fit and follows the natural stride of your foot. These shoes utilize flexfilm and iBR+ technology to improve your reaction time as well as as improve your speed and overall race time--without having to sacrifice an ounce of comfort. These shoes also provide sufficient cushioning to provide adequate comfort, without sacrificing their lightweight property.

Durability / Quality
Since these shoes are designed for short distance racing, some of the durable features were sacrificed in order to increase the runner's speed. However, they do utilize XT-900, Saucony Super Lite (SSL) EVA, and EVA+ to provide the shoe with the maximum durability it can provide without having to sacrifice your speed or comfort.

Cost or Value
These shoes are at a mid-range price and are definitely worth the cost if you are looking for a shoe that will significantly improve your race times.
  • IBR+ for cushioning and durability 
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent shock absorption 
  • Air mesh upper for breathability 
  • Improves speed
  • Adequate cushioning 
  • Saucony Super Lite EVA and flexfilm overlays for additional durability, comfort, and flexibility 
  • Affordable price 
  • Debri gets stuck in the shoe's drain holes. 

UA SpeedForm Apollo 2

If you have been looking for good shoes for racing, here we go with Under Armour Speed form Apollo 2. They will be perfect for road racing. This is the newest model. These shoes are said to be one of the greatest shoes from Under Armour. Let us show you the features.
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Comfort / Stability
This is a shoe for neutral runners so if you have problem with over pronation, this may be not a good idea to buy them. The shoes are very lightweight and that really helps you to boost your speed. There’s 8 mm heel to toe drop. As the midsole is dual-layer, there’s much more cushioning and this is what makes these shoes really comfortable. For more stability, there’s also additional protection for the arch. These have seamless construction so you can even wear them without socks. Lace up closure makes it much more easier to put them on and off.

Durability / Quality
Under Armour added additional rubber on the outsole so now the shoes are much more durable. However, there were some reviewers that that complained about the durability of these shoes. The sole is made from rubber so it’s also an advantage.

Cost or Value
The price is very reasonable. This is high quality shoe and it’s not expensive at the same time.

These have typical look of racing shoes. They have sleek silhouette which makes feet look nicer. The sporty look of these shoes is nice with a combination of the whole running outfit. There are many colors available on the market.

People say that these shoes are very comfortable

Nice looking design

These shoes are really breathable


There may be little problems with sizing

Nike Flex RN 2017

The Nike Flex Rn 2017 are another excellent option for runners looking to improve their race times. These shoes increase your speed without sacrificing any comfort, flexibility, or durability.
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Comfort / Stability
Over the year the Flex Rn has become a top choice among cross-country runners. They deliver an exceptional level of comfort and require a very short break in period. There removeable insole allows you to choose your level of comfort and flexibility as well as adequate arch support.

Durability / Quality
Over time nike has improved the durability of these shoes, and they are now considered to be a long-lasting option for runners. The shoe's midsole utilizes EVA Foam Pellets and a rubber outsole to protect the shoe from wear and tear and prolong the overall life of the shoe.

Cost or Value
These shoes are affordable and offer a variety of styles and color options.
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Breathable
  • Several color options
  • Flexible 
  • Short break in period
  • Removable insole
  •  EVA foam pellets and rubber outsole for maximum durability 
  • Narrow toe box
  • Sizes run small

Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 6

Winning a racing competition isn’t an easy thing especially if you don’t have good shoes. That’s why we want to present Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 6. These shoes will be best for running on the road. They are available in many sizes. Here we go!
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Comfort / Stability
These shoes have special Midsole Torsion System to provide your feet more stability. These shoes should be also more comfortable for those who have wide feet. The shoes are very lightweight so they will be great for tempo runs. These shoes have also great traction, you can easily run in them even if there’s a lot of water on the pavement. These shoes are for neutral runners so that’s not a good choice for people with over pronation. There’s a lot of cushioning in the midfoot. There’s special Microfit that helps the feet to stay in place.

Durability / Quality
Reviewers said that the outsole is very durable. These shoes are said to last for a very long time.

Cost or Value
When it comes to the price, these shoes aren’t the least expensive on our list. On average, the price is above 100 dollars so it may be a lot for some of you. On the other side, this is a high quality shoe, made from very good materials and it makes your running much easier so why not to test it out?

These shoes are great for those who love stylish shoes. There are available in different colors but we really like the classic look of Adidas shoes. They look sporty and very light so your legs and feet also seems to look much more better.

The fit is great, especially in the heel section




You may encounter little problems with sizing  

Fairly expensive tag

In this guide we have reviewed products from manufacturers that have implemented their own proprietary systems and technologies in the production of racing footwear, all intended to improve performance and increase the user’s effectiveness. The choices that work best for you rely on many factors such as fit, design, functionality and of course style. Whatever your needs, we hope this list helped with discovering some of the best options available.

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of the Best Racing Shoes:

Running has become such a popular sport. We want you to know which shoes will be best for competitions and racing so we sifted through thousands of customer reviews from experts, runners, and customers on internet sites. Below are the factors we considered when  coming up with our Top 10 racing shoes:

never-stop-runningFlickr: Kevin Dooley


Comfort is the top thing we look at when researching the best racing shoes. We want to know that these shoes will be comfortable while you run. Will they cause blisters? Do they have enough cushioning? All of this we let you know what other runners have said.


While, style is definitely a preference it’s still nice to know. Do they have a bit of a personality with some flare? Wild, bright colors? Or are they more neutral? Are they low-cut or high-cut?


If you’re getting ready to race, you know how important it can be to get a good grip on the road or trails. We sifted through reviews by runners to let you know what kind of traction you can expect from these shoes.


Typically, runners want shoes that will last more than one or 2 good runs. The average running shoe lasts between 400 and 600 miles. We will let you know if runners felt they lasted longer than this or if they were less durable.


Are they budget friendly? Or do they run on the expensive side? Cost and efficiency do not always have to go hand in hand. That’s why we made this top 10 list so you can see which shoes are cost efficient.


Some prefer more support than others, but we still investigate so you don’t have to. Will it provide arch, or heel support? Will it fit snugly or does it lack support in certain areas? You will learn all this when you view our top 10 racing shoes.


Most runners agree that flexibility is important. Running with a stiff shoe isn’t very fun. We’ve gone though many reviews by runners to let you know if they felt the shoe allowed them to move naturally while they ran.


Sizing of different brands of shoes varies. We let you know if you should expect them to be wide, or narrow. We’ll tell you if they run big or small in size so that you can adequately adjust your calculations to the shoe size you need.

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Racing Shoes:

You want to do your best when you race so we’ve found some things you should do before you race, and some things you should avoid. This will help you achieve your goals, do better in competitions and more.


Things to do BEFORE a Race:

1. Make Sure You Know Where the Race Is:

You don’t want to panic and try to scramble to get where you need to be on the day of the race. Search the website for an address and make sure you plot it in your GPS as well so you can be well prepared, or print it out to be on the safe side.

2. Try some Carbs:

Eating small amounts of complex carbohydrates throughout the day will give you more energy for the race. You’ll want to be careful to not overload on carbs though. Your last full meal should be 48 hours before you run. You’ll want to avoid alcohol and fatty foods too.

3. Set a Goal:

If you don’t set a goal, how will you know what you wish to accomplish during your race? It would be a good idea to have backup goals to, because mother nature cannot always be predictable. You can set pacing goals. You should have a plan for what you intend to do when you become overtired, or the unexpected happens. So if you fall, or your shoes come untied you’ll be well prepared and already quite decisive on what the next step is.

4. Make Sure your Electronic Devices are Charged:

It would be a real bummer to get to the race and then realize those power songs that help you get through your run won’t be available. Make sure whatever electronical devices you plan to use (iPod, Fitness trackers etc.) are charged and ready to go.

5. Pack your Race Day Bag:

You’ll want to do this the night before so you have everything ready. There’s nothing worse than rushing around and causing yourself more panic on race day. Pick everything out that you plan to wear the next, put all your running accessories together, and make sure you have your water bottle ready. This will allow you to have a great start to the day. Include your pre-fuel race items as well.

6. Become Familiar with the Race Course:

If you’ve never run in the race, or even if you have it’s a good idea to check out the race  course so you are familiar with it. Get there early so you can check out the course, walk the course a few days prior to running, or familiarize your self with it via a map or online. Whatever works best for you.

7. Double your Water Intake:

The day before you race you want to double your intake of water. You’ll also want to make sure you drink plenty of fluids in the morning before you race. This will prevent dehydration.

8. Stay off your Feet:

You don’t want to overdo it and compete in back to back races. If you are preparing for a race you’ll want to rest your feet as much as possible without becoming a couch potato.

9. Get a Good Night’s Sleep:

Sleep is so important so your body can function properly. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before is essential, but so is making sure you’re sleeping good that whole week of the race.

10. If Nervous, Do Breathing Exercises:

Often, runners can become anxious or nervous at competitions. If you find yourself becoming anxious you should do some deep breathing exercises to calm yourself. To do this: take a deep breath in through your nose (count to 6 and allow your diaphragm to expand). Breathe out through your mouth (count to 7 and allow all of your breath to leave your chest).  Repeat this 10 times for positive results.


Things to AVOID Before a Race:

1. Don’t Eat Too Soon Before you Run

You don’t want to cause cramps or other problems so the best thing to do is not to eat 2 hours prior to running.

2. Avoid Static Warm Up

You’ll want to do a dynamic warm up instead. Dynamic warm ups reduce muscle friction and can help you run faster at the start. Warm up exercises like lunges, arm and leg swings, and light jogging are a good choice.

3. Wearing New Running Gear

It most likely won’t be a comfortable run for you if you haven’t worn your running gear before. You need to gradually break in running gear items so that you don’t get blisters or chaffing from these new products.

4. Avoid Sugary Drinks

Drinking sugary drinks will cause your energy level to lower after an initial spike. You may also get dehydrated. You want to make sure you drink water and lots of it, while staying away from sugary drinks.

5. Over-Hydrating

If you drink too much water the day of the race, most likely you will find yourself needing to use the restroom frequently.

6. Don’t Become too Relaxed

You don’t want to sit on the couch all day and rest the day before you race. You’ll want to have a short workout the day before your race to keep tension down and prepare you for the big day.

7. Don’t Skip Breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day! Make sure you have a good breakfast, but don’t overstuff yourself. Have something with protein and some carbs to fuel your run.

8. Don’t Overload on Carbs

You don’t need to stuff yourself full of carbs the night before you race. In fact, the better thing to do is to graze on carbs throughout the day so that you do not cause any stomach problems. There is an exception to this rule however, if your race will take you more than 90 minutes then you can consider getting 70% of your total calories from carbs.

9. Cut Back on Fiber

Eating too many food that are rich in fiber can cause gas. You should attempt to cut back on foods that contain fiber 3 days before your race.

10. Staying out Late

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for having a successful race time. It’s not just the night before that will affect you. Your sleep during that entire week will take part in providing you energy (or lack of) for your run.


Flickr: Carolyn Eaton



Q. I just got a new pair of running shoes should I wear them for my race?

A. It’s not advisable to wear new running gear of any sort for the first time when you race.

Q. I received some new advice about running should I try it out on my race? 

A. It’s not advisable to try new advice on a race, you should try it while you do your regular run to see if it’s beneficial to you.

Q. What’s the deal with Carbs?

A. The best way to get energy is through carbs. You should graze on them throughout the day for best results during your race.

Q. What do you do if your shoelaces come untied during the race?

A. You can look up techniques on how to tie your shoes so they never come undone, or use locks for your laces, but you should always have a plan for what you will do if they come undone. Make sure you move to the side so you don’t get injured or injure others when you have to stop and tie them.

Q. When should your last full meal be before a race?

A. Typically, your last full meal should be 48 hours before the race. You can graze on foods such as carbohydrates to keep your energy up.

Q. I read that I should stay off my feet the day before the race, is this true?

A. While you do want to try and relax before the big day, you don’t want to become a complete couch potato. Make sure you get some exercise the day before.

Here are some sources we used while conducting our Research:


  1. Active, 5 Pre-Race Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid, Staying active site,
  2. Healthshare Health Solutions, Four Things To Avoid Before A Race, Healthcare information site, May 21, 2014
  3. The CLYMB, 8 Things To Do (and Not Do) The Day Before A Big Race, Outdoor site information,
  4. WikiHow, How to Prepare For a Race the Day Before, Informational site,
  5. Run Eat Repeat, 10 Things to Do Before Your Race, Running informational site, Oct 16, 2013
  6. Realbuzz, 5 Worst Things to do Before you Run. What to avoid doing before a run, Informational site,
  7. Huffington Post, 10 Things Not To Do Before Your Next Race, Online Newspaper article, Sep 20, 2014
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