Some races I run for fun (meaning no timed goal, no goal other than just to enjoy running a race with others) Some races I run for time (I have a time in my head that I want to beat, and I want to beat it bad). Some races I run for the distance (I just want to complete the course. Please just let me finish). Some races I want it all (The distance, the time, the entire race has a goal of some kind)
So, of course depending on how I approach the race determines my race day preparation (and the week of).
This requires less preparation than the others. But with any 'event' there is always some preparation. And because I am who I am, I do as much of my preparation in advance as possible.
- I always try to pick up my packet the day before if I can.
- I start stalking the weather a few weeks out. Of course as the event approaches I start deciding and laying out what I will wear. I always lay out all of my gear the night before (yes, even if it's a home local event). I just mentally have to get everything all laid out the night before.
- I plan what I will have for breakfast.
- I cut out as much dairy as possible that week since it causes stomach issues for me.
- I also try to make sure that my meal the night before isn't something that will upset my stomach.
- I figure out the driving logistics of when and where I need to be.
- I try to get to bed at a decent time
- I pray that I poop that morning. Poop seems to be the biggest stresser for me. Yes, I just put that out there. Seriously, race day just seems to change everything about how my body wants to behave. So usually, I try to give myself as much time as possible to poop before I leave the house. Sometimes it happens - sometimes it doesn't.
- I do all of the above but I usually visualize the race. I'll see myself hitting my timed goals. I'll visualize the finish. I don't know if it helps or not, but it's something that I do.
- I'm also a little more careful about my nutrition - making sure that I'm getting adequate carbs the week of the race.
- I try to make sure that I get a little more rest a few days before the upcoming race.
- And I try to keep my nerves in check and try to force myself to slow down and not start the race too fast.
- All of the above plus adequate taper, but not too much. There is a fine line with that, and I think it's different for everyone.
- Try to stay well. I tend to always get sick before big events, so staying well is one of my priorities along with adequate rest (which I mentioned above)
- All of the above plus stay calm! I get pre-race jitters - and bad if I put a lot of pressure on myself. So when it comes to the very big race for me I do all of the previous mentioned things along with reminding myself to have fun.
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