It’s race week!! This is a week full of so many emotions and plans, and it’s definitely fun to be in the midst of (but it makes getting the normal week responsibilities done a bit more difficult!). While it’s exciting to plan, it also means that I’m doing things a little differently than other weeks. That being said, here are some of the behaviors I engage in (or don’t engage in) to try to set myself up the best I possibly can for race day!
I don’t wear high heels during race week. Why put extra strain on my muscles and joints when racing is going to do that anyways? To have fresh legs on race day, I try to wear sandals or flats to work.
Cut out lactose completely. I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t eat too much dairy anyways, but during race week I try to cut it out completely. Why put an extra strain on my system when racing can do that on its own?
REST and get some sleep! I try to sleep 8 hours a night during race week, but with the extra excitement it doesn’t always happen. Before my first half marathon I only slept two hours- oops! I have to remind myself that being still is restful even if I’m not sleeping.
Hydrate! I definitely drink more fluid each day than usual so that I go into race morning well hydrated. I avoid dehydrating drinks to go along with this…
Imagine myself crossing the finish line. When I get to the last part of a race, I know that I can kick it because I think “I’ve done this lots of times in my head! I’ve got this”. This also helps create a little more excitement too!
Gentle Pilates and yoga moves. Not only does this give me some activity to do (lots of extra energy that I need to channel), but it helps to keep me lose and flexible. Runners can get really tight, so doing this throughout the entire training cycle is important.
Cut back on workouts. Yes, I do still work out, but not as hard or for as long as I do on a non race week. I don’t want to be at all sort or have tired legs on race day!
Foam roll but go more gently! I have tight IT bands, so rolling before races is critical. However, I do lighten up on the pressure so I’m not digging into my muscles the same way as I normally would.
Eat well! This isn’t much of a change from how I normally eat, but I definitely try to be more balanced then a usual week. This also involves eating good protein and upping my carbs a bit by the end of the week.
Remember this week isn’t a time to try to squeeze in a missed workout, especially a long run! These last ditch efforts don’t help your performance, but can definitely harm you during the race (remember- you want fresh legs!).
Check the weather obsessively. Ok, this one won’t help you out, but I can’t help it! Every few hours I tend to click on the weather to see what has changed. But, checking the weather IS important to help you be prepared for the race!
Charge your phone/ipod/Garmin/other electronics. Don’t wait until race morning to do this! Too many things can go wrong, and it’s always good to be prepared in advance!
Don’t let doubts and negative thoughts take root. We can’t help the initial thoughts we have, but we don’t need to dwell in them. (See: Inside a Runner’s Head)
Eat Cupcakes! Oh wait… that’s not so healthy! But, it’s a fact. I made little cupcakes (these root beer ones) and am currently eating one as I type this. Yummmm!
And now a question- it’s supposed to rain during my race, and I’ve never raced (and hardly trained) in the rain before. Any tips?
Now it’s your turn to share! What do you do the week leading up to a race?