Michigan Titanium 2023August 19, 2023
Mastering the Chill: Tips for Swimming in Cold WaterSeptember 22, 2023
As the countdown to race day begins and your training efforts taper down, one critical week stands between you and the starting line: race week. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a first-timer, this pivotal period can make a big difference in your performance and overall race-day experience. It’s the week where meticulous planning, mindful training, and self-care converge to set the stage for success. Let’s dive into some tried and true strategies to make the most out of the week leading up to your big race.
In the Week Prior to Your Race:
This is when when you start to doubt everything – Did I put in enough hours? Did I do enough bricks? Are my zones right? Why am I so hungry? Try these techniques to keep your head right!
- Trust in your training – especially if you have a coach! 🙂 Just take a scroll through your TrainingPeaks or whatever training log you use, and you’ll see how far you’ve come. It’s a great visual to reaffirm your progress.
- Resist the urge to do “extra” workouts. Taper is designed to give your muscles time to repair. It’s a time to shed and sharpen – shed the fatigue and sharpen your fitness. Anything extra you do at this point could be detrimental to your race. You’ll want to keep a little bit of intensity, but the volume should steeply decline to only 25-35% of what you had been doing.
- Hydrate! All. week. long. Mix in electrolyte beverages with regular water, and consider a bowl of salty miso or tomato soup for some edible hydration.
- Resist the urge to eat everything in sight. While your miles may be decreasing, your appetite may still be in peak training mode. Instead, eat sensibly with a balance of protein, carbs and fat. Lean into the complex carbs as race day approaches.
- Sleep more now. You may find it hard to sleep as your race gets closer – and especially the night before the event. So, take extra care to get the sleep your body needs early in the week.
- Review the race day guide.
- Start packing. Review your packing list, and go through every stage of the race to think about your needs. Plan your meals, not only what you’ll eat but make sure you’ll have the proper tools to prep food if you’re staying at a hotel. Pack for all weather conditions so you have what you need with you (make the decision about what to wear/bring the night before). Don’t forget to pack any recovery tools and things you may want for comfort – like your favorite jammies and Self-care for the win! Get a gentle massage, enjoy some quality time with your foam roller, or an easy yoga session with a friend- take the time to do things that fill your spirit and help your body relax.
- Mental Preparedness. Take a few moments each day to sit quietly and visualize your race day from start to finish. Incorporate deep breathing techniques. Remember your past successes and failures and all you’ve learned along the journey as a boost to your confidence. Find a mantra that speaks to you and repeat it to yourself regularly. Remember, everything you need to reach your goals is in there.
At the Race Venue:
Once you arrive on site you can take a few steps to make race day a bit smoother.
- Plan the logistics. Figure out where you need to park on race day and help your support crew determine the best spots for spectating.
- Drive the course. Get a feel for the turns and hills and review the location of aid stations. Think about areas on the route that might be good for nutrition or to just enjoy the view! Familiarizing yourself with the course will help you plan your strategy and become comfortable with what’s ahead.
- Packet pickup. Enjoy the vibe, but be careful not to spend too much time on your feet. Especially if the expo is out in the sun!
Race week is much more than just physical preparation; it’s a time to reflect on an incredible journey and the culmination of your hard work and dedication. Use this week to put the finishing touches on your mental and emotional preparedness. So when race day arrives, you can step to the starting line with a smile and savor the moment.