The race is Sunday, are you ready?
Here are some quick tips you can apply this week and on race day to make it a great race.
# 1 Rest During Race Week – I know you are concerned about losing fitness when you take rest days or easy days, but this is so untrue.
When you rest, you get stronger and faster because your body can recover, rebuild and assimilate all the training stress you have been applying to it over the last few weeks.
This doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and eating ice cream.
An easy week leading to the race means reduced overall volume and a few well-placed ORPS (Over Race Pace Sprints). See a sample week at the bottom of this blog…
#2 Eat for Success before, during, and after the race –
Can you imagine driving your car without putting gas in it? How far do you think it would go? How fast?
Not very! That is my point.
Plan your pre-post and during the race nutrition NOW.
This one factor can throw all your hard work down the drain.
You can be the fastest, strongest runner out there, but if you don’t fuel up well, your body cannot deliver the performance you desire.
Why risk it? If you want some suggestions on pre-race meals, check out my blog, Top 3 Tried and True Pre-Race Breakfasts. This is highly individualized so stick to what you have used in training for your race and adjust slightly for higher performance on race day.
Always choose real food while not on the race course. As a healthful tip, too much sports nutrition is not healthy!
#3 Stretch – With reduced activity this week, you may be feeling a little tight. Break out the foam roller and get in the sauna and or hot tub and stretch your whole body a few times after your easy runs this week.
#4 Write out a Race Plan and stick to it – A race plan is something I recommend, so you have a map to follow to guarantee success.
Write out everything you will do from Saturday morning when you wake up to Sunday after completing the race, including your race day goals.
Eating meals that will support your race; complex carbohydrates, quality protein, and good fats.
- What sports nutrition will you use during the race, and when to eat it
- Warm-up training routine
- Your goals for the race itself
- Heart rate and pacing plans during the race and
- Your recovery details post-race- (What’s your reward??)
This can be as detailed or simple as you like.
The important thing is to write out your goals in a positive light.
Avoid statements like, “I hope I don’t quit.”
Instead, write, “I will run at my goal race pace from aid station to aid station,” or “I will hold 8:15 minute miles for my last 3 miles.”
You may also want to include any concerns about the race and write out your solutions to them in case they occur.
For example, if you are concerned about how to pace the bridges in the race. Pace yourself more gradually as you start the climb, so you have energy at the top of the bridge to run down with momentum and good form.
Or another example would be if you are worried about pacing yourself for your goal time, use an app that can create a pace chart to follow to help keep you following your plan toward your goal.
I like the program on this website –
Run Pace Chart
Then, I would include goal finishing times based on solid training paces and heart rates you know you can achieve, so you aren’t guessing your finishing time. Then announce it to your friends and on social media!
#5 Sleep –
I know, you are superhuman and can get by on 5 hours of sleep a night; Wrong!!!
You are only fooling yourself.
Yes, you can do this a few days a week, but if you are consistently sleeping 5 hours or less a night, you are being less productive and sacrificing a good performance from your body and brain; the research is there.
I’m a big believer in putting science to the test. Get eight-plus hours of sleep for five nights in a row, and I guarantee you will feel superhuman even without caffeine!
#6 Get Your Race Packet Early – Pick up your packet early. Wear your compression socks, and browse the expo as you sip some organic coconut water. Then, get off your feet. Avoid the chaos.
# 7 Mantras –
Half and full marathons are long distances, and you can lose focus easily during the race.
Pick a few mantras to keep you present “in the moment” and focus on your breathing.
Some of my favorite mantras are:
“Fast Arms, Fast Feet”
“Quick Light Feet”
“I Got This”
“Right, Left, Right, Left”
# 8 Hit the port-o-potties before you start –
There are lines of people for the bathrooms along the race course; avoid the wait by emptying your bowels before the race starts.
# 9 Start with a Disposable Water bottle – so you can skip the lines at the first three aid stations. Add a pinch of natural sea salt or your favorite electrolytes. You can get to the aide stations farther down as it gets less crowded.
#10 Smile – Have fun and enjoy every second of this opportunity to race! Cheer your fellow runners, and be grateful for your awesome, strong, and successful body.
Now, have an awesome race!
I am wishing you all your best race 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻
Sample Week Leading up to Race Day
Monday – Sleep in, stretch using a foam roller and write out your race plan; Put your race plan for the weekend and send it to your coach for feedback, and get a massage.
Tuesday – Start with a dynamic warm-up, an easy 20-40 minute run at your aerobic threshold (AE) (180 – age = heart rate average for this run). In other words very easy! Include a few 4 x 1 min ORPS (over race pace sprints) slightly above your goal race pace. If you are just racing to finish, keep it steady and include a few pick-ups in intensity. Finish with a total body stretch and core routine specific to running.
Wednesday – Easy 45-minute swim or bike followed by total body foam roll and stretch. Visualize your entire race exactly as you want it to go and use all your senses and emotion of how it will feel to be out there running and crossing the finish line with your goal time.
Thursday – Similar to Tuesday
Friday – Day off, mental and physical prep; pick up your packet today.
Saturday – Run race warm up 15-20 min, with 2-3 x 1 min ORPS. Stretch, compress and rest. Follow your nutrition plan for the day, and prepare for temperatures accordingly with layers.
Sunday – Race Day, make it a great day. Follow your plan, and don’t forget to SMILE and Enjoy! You Got This!!!
If you are interested in learning more about Full Circle Coaching, call/text us at 786-586-6057 today, or better yet, click this link: http://www.scheduleyou.in/5ZIsVaU to schedule your FREE Triathlon Breakthrough Session. This is a complimentary 30-minute session to ask me anything about triathlon, health, and wellness, or holistic lifestyle/nutrition.
Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. She has been training, racing, and coaching triathletes since 1997. She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, and much more.