To maximize performance on race day, a lot of little things need to go right. It's easy to drop the ball considering our emotions take over and we focus on the race itself.
Maybe we should do what airplane pilots do - and make a checklist.
To make your checklist, list all of the minor and major things that need to get done the day before the morning in chronological order.
This comes to mind today as I failed to use my checklist yesterday. I ran in a short trail race and, due to lack of planning, ate a rushed breakfast without thinking about which foods might give me problems during the race.
Now, I'm trying to do better about not making excuses for poor performance. So I will freely admit that the five guys who beat me on race day did so because they were better athletes that day.
With that said, my poor choice for breakfast led to stomach issues and the ensuing potty break a half mile from the finish line resulted in two people passing me.
Had I use my checklist, and followed it, there's a good chance those problems would not have arisen.
Here's a checklist I use for long triathlons. Feel free to copy, modify and use it or yourself.