Preparing For A Competitive Race
When it comes to race day, sometimes you can find yourself questioning whether you’ve done enough to prepare. The way to avoid this is to create a solid plan from day one, and stick to it. This will clear any doubt on race day, and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
Eat and drink normally
Many a race strategy has been ruined by sudden changes in diet. You read an interview two days before a race from an athlete who swears by a certain food. The temptation to try something new that you’re not familiar with can cause disaster so close to a race. Stick to the foods you have been eating all through your preparation if they’ve been working. Don’t rock the boat last minute.
There may be no issue, or you may even have a benefit. But don’t take that risk, save it for your next race training.
Don’t stray from your plan
Throughout your training, you would have discovered your running pace to get you to the end, in and around your target time. Only for race day to come along and you find yourself running a little harder at the start to stay up with the early leading pack.
Stay focused on your race and don’t worry about the others. If you get away from your strategy this will have a great impact over your whole race. Keep in mind what worked for you in your training and stick to it like glue.
Get everything ready the night before. It sounds very basic but waking up to that peace of mind that you’re all set and ready to go can help easy any pre-race anxiety you may have. It’s just one less thing to think about.
Cover all bases, your kit, food, water, transport, get your destination in the GPS, know where you will park, and so on.
This is vitally important for competitive runners. Always stay realistic, this doesn’t mean put on unnecessary limits, but be self-aware of your abilities and understand what you are currently likely to achieve. Setting goals too high for your current ability can lead to you being disappointed with results which are actually good achievements.
That said, if you’ve set yourself a realistic goal but in the latter stages you feel you’ve got more to give. Go for it! Only you know how you feel at the time.
Photo by David Baird