More races are won and lost the last seven days before the race than any other time. Pre-race mental and physical strategies will put you at the starting line in control, focused and in the ready to race mode. Stick to what has made you successful in the past.
- Stay focused on you! Eliminate and reduce the effects of distractions on pre-race preparations. Remain focused on the race and internal physical needs.
- This is your time. The first thoughts you recognize in a day are critical for setting the days tone. Begin every day of race week by telling yourself, “I feel great,” “It’s going to be my day,” “My sleep restored my power,” and “I am ready to perform to my full potential as an athlete!”
- Be your own ‘Hero!’ Whether the world knows you as a great athlete is not as important as the fact that – You know you are. So, be your own hero and smile because you are about to put it all on the line with the race of your life.
- Mental strength can be your greatest power. Even if you feel not completely physically prepared know that your mental strength can get you through. Undertrained is always better than overtrained.
- Visualize the race physical feelings and race course. Be as specific as possible when creating your mental images of the swim, bike and run physiological responses and the course.
Nutrition & Equipment Strategies
- Take as much of your race week food with you as you can rather than looking for it prior to the race.
- Bring all the necessary snacks, gels and powders you will need race week and race morning. Avoid high fiber foods and NO new food or drink the day before or on race day.
- Use a tested nutritional plan so there are no intestinal surprises during race week. Be cautious of carbo dinners the night before the race.
- Always take responsibility for your equipment needs and condition. Check and recheck all your equipment.
- NEVER use any new untested equipment on race day.
- Travel will always be stressful. The best tactics will be to plan, check, re-check, and be as organized as possible.
- Expect and allow adequate time for unforeseen delays race week.
- Race morning have an alternate route or different mode of transportation in case of road closures.
- Race week is about letting your body absorb and recover from the overload of training stresses. Eat well and rest.
- Error on the side of doing too little rather than too much race week. Don’t try and make up for lost training.
- Keep the training time (volume/duration) low but maintain race specific intensity workouts race week. Include sixty to ninety second race effort repetitions during race week in all disciplines to maintain your race sharpness and peak form.
- Your body is used to moving on a consistent basis and often does not like – doing nothing. Active rest is best.
- Know the specific race course. How long? How many laps? Hazards? Hills or downhill sections, corners, surface? Ride the last few miles to the finish line.
Race week is your time. Stay focused on you. Check your equipment. Mentally be prepared for the ‘what if’s.’ This is your time, your race. Be safe and go hard!