All our hard work is in, we've spent countless hours training, sweating, and watching our nutrition. Our alarm clocks have gone off so many times pre-dawn, that sleeping in is waking up at 5:30am. Ahh!!! We don't want all this sacrifice to go to waste by a few bad decisions, or miscalculations leading up to race day. Below are some tips/guidelines I use to make sure I am ready for race day.
1. TRUST/CONFIDENCE: We need to trust that we are ready to race. Trust that we have put in the miles and we need to carry a sense of confidence with us that we are race ready. Don't go crazy and start cramming your training in right up in till race day. We want to have a fresh energized body going into race day. Trust in what you have put in to your training
2. CRAMMING: We don't want to be training hard or long right up to race day. This leads to fatigue and you will not have the energy to race up to your potential. The goal is to feel like our bodies are fresh and energized body going into race day. Those last ditch efforts will only hurt our performance not help.
3. SLEEP: A couple days before the big race, make sure you start (should be continuing) to get a good night's sleep. This allows your body to repair itself from hard training so it is ready for race day. Sleep is vital in muscle and joint recovery, can't emphasize enough how important a good night sleep is.
4. a. FUEL: Make sure you stick with safe foods the night before your race. I like to stick with bland, carb-rich foods. My traditional pre-race meal is pasta with red sauce and grilled chicken. Stay away from spicy foods, alcohol, and soda. I would not try anything new either - which leads me to point five. Also the breakfast of our race day is very important, eat something light but enough to sustain yourself for most of your race (ie. greek yogurt with fruit, hard boiled eggs, bagels, fruit, etc.) b. HYDRATING: One last point in fueling. Make sure you are hydrating properly the day before and the morning of your race. Conditions (heat, length of race, your personal sweat rate, etc.) will indicate how much you need to hydrate. Note: Please don't just hydrate with water, you need to fill your body up with all the vitamins it will need on race day so use some electrolyte drinks - GU Brew, Gatorade, NUUN.
5. NOTHING NEW: Whether it be new foods, shoes, goggles, etc. Whatever your sport is (running, triathlon, cycling, etc) try as best as you can not to throw in new equipment on race day. This can lead to major problems, usually discomfort, which can lead to a miserable experience and sometimes to injury. I made this mistake in a race - I had thrown in a new pair of goggles for the swim leg of a triathlon and the goggles were much too tight and caused a lot of pain in my eyes during the swim.
Be smart leading up to race day. Racing is hard, we don't want to add obstacles we can avoid. Race hard and have fun!!
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
Click on Icon to view my Blog Endurance Sports Central w/ The Mercury - Town Square
Click on Icon to view TheReporterOnline.com Blog
Click on Icon to view The Times Herald Blog Site