Sunday, September 15, 2013

week before race day prep

today is sunday. one week out until race day.

i'm anxious. i'm nervous. and whenever i hear one of my go-to running songs i feel like i'm going to vomit.

since i'm already anxious a week out, i need to focus on prep to make sure i don't lose my mind at the starting line. here's how i prepare the week of a big race.

1) mental preparation.
there's nothing more important for me leading up to a big race than mental preparation. my cross country coach once told me, "alicia, there are two types of runners. some runners are so mellow you have to psych them up before a race. and then there are some runners that are so anxious you need to help them off the ledge. you're on the ledge and we need to help you down."  since i can't take xanax and then go for a run, this whole week is dedicated to talking myself off the ledge so i don't have to do it all on race day. the first thing i do is remind myself that i have trained and i am ready. i've put in the hard work and i am ready to go. the second thing i do is visualization: visualization of me at the starting line, during the race and crossing the finish line. those positive visualizations can go a long way. oh, and i also do everything i can to kick the negative thoughts to the curb. no room for those!

getting enough sleep falls under the mental preparation part. i've heard that two nights before the race is the crucial time for getting enough sleep but because i've been struggling in the energy department for a few weeks i'm going to try and take extra care to go to bed earlier than usual as many nights as i can.

2) physical preparation.
this is the week of hydration and solid carb/protein in-take. while i should always be drinking a lot of water throughout the day, i don't. so i need to be more thoughtful about drinking lots of water this week (especially since i have work travel this week too, gah). the other thing i need to watch is my carb intake. carb-loading before a race isn't as effective as eating a consistent amount of carbs to keep the body fueled throughout the week. i'll be tracking (or trying to) more diligently this week to make sure i'm not skimping out. my go-to pre-race meal is a burger with fries (i'm not your traditional pasta girl). i've found a burger + fries seems to deliver just the right about of carbs, protein and fat my body needs to move :)

the other part of physical preparation is taking care of my body. this week it means lots of icing, stretching and even a quick massage to loosen up my muscles mid week. compression socks will be worn after all mid-week runs and the night before the race. it seems to have worked for me in the past so i'm stickin' with it!

3) forget me not preparation
the week of the race is the time to get around your running gear, your fuel, your playlist, etc - NOT the night before. during the week, i have more of a clear mind to write down and remember everything i need to pack for race day. people think pregnancy brain is a thing? i totally think race day brain is a thing. as a result of said race day brain, i'm going to make sure everything is clean, prepped and packed before friday. this way i can ease into the weekend and pre-race fun a little more at ease.

instead of sharing with you a mind-numbing list, like the one i just typed out, i could sum things up nicely like my trainer does and ignore the whole body of this post:

"race week - positive thoughts, lots of carbs and lots of sleep"


how do you prepare during the week before a race or big event? do you need to be psyched up, or helped off the ledge on race day? what's your go-to pre-race meal? do you believe in race day brain?



14 comments:

  1. Since you're in prep - download water your body or water intake tracker free - both have alarms to go off all day to remind you to drink up. It helps me a ton! And keep a cup next to the bed. Full drink before you get out of bed. :)

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  2. Downloading :) Good ideas - thank you!

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  3. I am always a mix of nervous and excitement! I tend to start laying out my clothes/running supplies the week of the race...that way I don't forget anything! I also try and download a few new songs onto the ipod so I have some new songs to enjoy!

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  4. I have my first half in Frankenmuth on October 5th. I think I'll use some of your rituals to get ready. Good luck this weekend!

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  5. I absolutely love that your pre-race meal is a burger and fries :) Mine is the usual pasta with marinara sauce. Boring, but effective!

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  6. Hey, whatever works! Pasta is delicious! :)

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  7. Oh!!! You'll have to share how you like the Frankenmuth race! I'd love to do a race there - such a charming little city. Good luck!

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  8. Thank you!

    Isn't it funny how we get all worked up for big things? When in reality, there are often just little blips on our life radar?? :) I am sure you'll get into grad school - you're amazing! They'd be dumb not to take you.

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  9. I think the race outfit is one of the most important parts! I mean, aside from the fashion component, you need clothes that won't cause issues during! I have just started to be able to eat solid food the morning of a race. It took a long time for me to get there - my go to is Bonk Breaker bars. Just enough!

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  10. <3 new songs - they really pump energy into the run! I need to download some this week. Any songs you're lovin' lately?

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  11. I know that feeling all too well! You're going to do great, you are mentally and physically prepared. Hope you have a great week - can't wait to hear about your race!

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  12. I have not added any new songs in a long time!

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  13. Maybe we should get a list going or something for inspiration. I'm going to download some for my race this weekend. I'll let you know what I find!

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Getting comments feels as good as a freezing cold glass of Gatorade on a hot summer day. So don't be shy - share your thoughts & opinions! - Alicia