02 Nov Race Week Tips
If you’re about to race this weekend, or, if you now have a clear 6 months to prepare for your next race, this article is relevant to you. If your in race week right now, take care of your freshness, if your 6 months out, understand that a great race week is built upon a foundation of self discovery, knowledge and consistent practice. Here are your 4 tips:
KEEP THE INTENSITY, SHORTEN YOUR SESSIONS
It is close to race day that it becomes very apparent that it is intensity that can drive you to new levels of performance and not lengthy sessions or a great training load. Whilst your Race Week sessions are intense, they are short and becoming shorter as the week progresses.
DO LESS, NOT MORE
I’m theorizing here, if you were to compare two athletes that have had the exact same year of preparation for an event, the only difference being, athlete 1 felt a desperation to get that one last long run or bike in, whilst, athlete 2 executed race week as planned and even skipped a session or two because they just felt it was right. Who wins come race day?
I would argue that, when it came to the point in the race where both athletes where digging deep, athlete 2 would have a greater desire to maintain their form and push on based on their freshness found in doing little during race week.
The ability to do less is definitely a matter of confidence; those who feel compromised by the task in hand are likely to try to do too much close to an event in an attempt to appease their insecurity. It’s a great argument for starting early and being consistent.
Whilst I think you should do less, at Tribal we are not fans of sitting around for long periods. We believe that a level of inactivity that allows your lymphatic and circulatory systems to stagnate would also become detrimental to race day, leaving you heavy legged and disconnected from your body. The remedy is found in very light movement like short walks, mobilising self-massage, movement and stretching techniques.
FRONT LOAD HYDRATION
A simple tip for better execution come race day is to ensure you front-load your hydration. This starts not on race morning but weeks before the event, once dehydrated, it takes a good couple of days to get all your tissues rehydrated optimally and it is the pump of your lymphatic and circulatory systems mentioned above that is responsible for ensuring that your extremities are in good shape.
Check out our blog on salt to calculate your daily water and electrolyte needs.
KNOW YOUR RACE PLAN
No excuses here, failure to prepare and all that…
If you haven’t written a race plan before, try it for your next race. You should incorporate the following four subsections to help you stay in the moment come race day and execute your best performance yet. These are interdependent, they are all important and they all rely on each other to work efficiently.
- Thoughts: Take time to identify your motivation, what is your why? It’ll really help when you have to dig deep.
- Form: Pick a really simple focal point that increases your efficiency for your Swim, Bike & Run. Write it on your hand and when you feel your mind wandering, get back in the moment and to your focal point.
- Pace: Many a great race have been spoilt by bad pacing, know your target feel, pace or power and execute what you know you can sustain for the race distance without compromising your fuelling.
- Fuel: Having practiced this in training you will know what fuelling and hydration rate works with your chosen pacing target.
Come race day, commit to racing your plan.
Finally, a quick thought on race day itself. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.. If you have framed your preparation for your next event as a learning experience, a massive commitment to consistent practice and self discovery, then, the few hours that you aim to peak for is not really the point. Relax, everything will fall into place if you have done the work, and, if you haven’t for whatever reason, take the pressure off and get out there and enjoy the privilege that is being able to race, you might just surprise yourself.