I train wrong, but my training is consistent. Because I don't do long runs or speed training, all of my runs are about the same distance, and the only difference in pace is due to running by feel. Therefore, I only race like I run, except the pace is faster.
On race day, I arrive in plenty of time for a warmup and a trip to the office to make sure the bowels are right. Then, I wait for the gun. I typically run the first mile about 90 seconds faster than my training pace, due to adrenaline and the knowledge that just 3 miles is not going to hurt too much. Mile two is also about this pace. For some reason, mile three is not as good, but I attribute this to the thinning crowd creating a level of boredom or satisfaction with my place and don't realize that I slowed down a little, but still 45-60 seconds faster than my training pace.
Some might call that going out hard and trying to hang on, but usually in the third mile, there isn't a runner to race against due to most others going out way too fast and falling off greatly by then. Not saying I am winning, but I usually am in the top of my age group and race only smaller local races because I don't like to travel before a race.