June is here! That means the summer races have arrived. In the days and weeks leading up to your race, your nerves may slowly start to kick in. Have I done enough training? Will I finish? To try and combat these common stressors, I have put together a brief guideline for race week and race day to ensure success.
Race week will bring more than enough stressors, including travel and hotel stays. That is why I always tell athletes to make as few changes to their daily routine as possible.
For race week, one of the more common mistakes I see are athletes over-training. They start to worry that they have not done enough and crush themselves the week of the race. You will not be gaining any fitness in the days leading up to the race so just try and take it easy. You will get far more out of plenty of recovery the week of. Race day will be tough enough without being tired from a week of hard workouts.
Many people think that race week is some special, mystical beast and they need to do things completely different. I always try and tell athletes to keep things as normal and simple as possible. If you do not drink 8 bottles of water a day during a normal week why do you need to this week? You have trained your body a specific way and your body is used to that. Why change a good thing?
A day or two out, go over all of your equipment to ensure everything is working and in good condition. This will give you plenty of time to get anything fixed or replaced. The night before the race, I like to lay out my transition area in my hotel room and do a run through in my head as to how the transitions will go, just to ensure that everything is there and I am prepared.
The big day is here! It is time to put all of your hard work to the test. One of the most important things to do is know ahead of time where you are going and arrive early. You can save yourself a lot stress and heartache by getting to the race site early. This will give you ample time to set up your transition area and fix any last minute issues. Once you have transition set up, do a walk through from swim exit to your transition spot and from bike in to your spot. This will ensure you know quickly and easily how to find your spot in transition.
Now that you have set up transition and done a walk through, it is a great time to get in the water and do a light swim warm up. Know what the water is going to feel like and get the blood flowing. After you have warmed up a little bit, it is time to relax, keep calm, and wait for your swim wave to start.
If you keep things simple and trust your training you will be in for a great day. If you have any questions about your race plan, you can email me at email@example.com.