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Golden Rules of Race Week

After months and maybe years of training, race week has finally arrived. While very exciting, this week can be equally stressful and even nerve-wracking. The added layer of stress can make this week hard to navigate and cause you to make poor last-minute decisions that damper your race. To help you, I have listed my golden rules so you can navigate race week like a pro!

1. Nothing new on race week

By race week you should have already tested your nutrition, hydration, and any

equipment you will use during the race. The last thing you need is to try a new

product or piece of equipment for it only to have negative effects on you during

your race.

2. Complete your training as planned. No more, no less

Race week is not the time to panic train and/or completely stop training. The

training you did, or didn’t do, leading into the race is already banked. Fitting in

last-minute sessions will not give you a fitness boost for the race, and can make

you more tired. On the contrary, you also do not want to completely rest and not

do your final sessions. Those final sessions have a purpose: to keep your

muscles firing and ready to go come race morning.

3. Stick with your usual schedules and routines

Try to get your final training sessions done at or around the same time you

usually would. I also recommend eating breakfast/lunch/dinner at the same time

as normal and going to sleep/wake at the same times. This will keep normalcy in

your routine and keep your body/mind at ease.

4. Prevent over-stretching and foam rolling

During taper, the decrease in activity can make us feel like our muscles are

tightening up (cue in the importance of tip no.2). This can make you feel like you

need to stretch or foam roll extra. But that is not always good and can actually

cause some strains, soreness, and inflammation. If you have a stretching or body 

movement routine, stick with it, but don’t go crazy.

5. Stick with foods you know and regularly eat

Hopefully, you know what foods work with your stomach and which ones to

avoid. Even though it is boring, I always recommend sticking with plain food to

limit any chances of G.I. stress. And if you have a sensitive stomach like me, I

recommend doing some research on restaurants or grocery stores if you are

traveling to a race. This will help you plan for pre-race meals and stick with what

you know.

6. Leave bike issues for the mechanics

Bike issues always seem to appear during race week. And the nervous energy

and tinkering with delicate parts make the chance for a bigger problem highly

possible. I suggest paying the money for a professional to deal with it and carry

on. Trust me.

7. Be Flexible

Chances are high that not everything will go right or as seamlessly as we want.

Make sure to stay flexible with any hiccups or changes along the way. Try to

realize it is what it is, deal with it the best you can, and move on from it.

8. Be gracious and have fun

All the work is done except the final touches. Have some fun and embrace the

race environment and community. Also, keep in mind races can’t happen without

the work and support of others. Be kind to everyone there and give support to

others when you can. Letting yourself have a more enjoyable experience usually

means better racing


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