You’ve already completed the first two steps in preparing for your race. You signed up, and you’ve been training your body for months. Now, it’s time for a new kind of preparation. The next thing to think about is the preparation you should do leading up to the race. At Momentum, our team has participated in dozens of races, and we’ve compiled our best tips to help you prepare for the big day.
1. Focus On The Date Of Your Race
This may seem obvious, but keep your eye on the job ahead. Knowing that you are just a few weeks away from your race, be sure to clear your schedule and make time for the necessary training and planning to help you stay on track.
2. Study The Details Of The Course
Whether you’re doing a 5km race or a 30km race, it’s good to study the maps and course breakdown. You should spend some time on the route (walking, running, cycling or driving) and become familiar with the course. Based on your own capabilities, break down the race into times. For example, figure out how long you would like to take to complete the first leg of the race, but keep it realistic. By doing this, you’ll know what to expect, which will help you feel calm and ready for the event.
You can go beyond that, and figure out how long it’ll take you to get to the start line from your house on the day of the race. Learn which roads will be closed for the race (if any) and determine the best route to get there. There’s nothing worse than being late to the start line!
3. Visualize Your Race
Visualization is a powerful thing. Go through the whole detail of picking up your race kit, dropping your bag off, warming up, and so on. Visualize yourself at the start line and keep telling yourself you can do this. If you know that there’s one particular challenging part of the course, picture yourself getting through it with a smile on your face. Imagine that you can hear the cheering crowd as you pass the finish line. Believing you can is half the battle in race preparation.
4. Get The Gear You Need
If you need to buy new gear then now is the time! Don’t go buy new gear the day before your event. You will need to have trained in your gear before race day to get used to it. Now is a good time to make a list of all the items you need. Will you bring water, gel packs, or music? Do you want to wear a hat, or maybe spandex under your shorts? Check what mandatory kit is required and ensure you have it. Tick the items off your list as you get them.
5. Whatever Training Plan You Are Using, Stick To It
You’ve come this far in your training, and now is not the time to change your tactic. Believe in your plan – you are a rockstar! The important thing right now is to stay focused and consistent with what you’ve been doing. If you’re looking for something new for your next race, check out our training plan here as a guide to help you progress. If you are training with friends or our Run Club, then let those people reassure you and knock out any doubt. Like we said, you are a rockstar!
6. Don’t Ignore Those Nagging Injuries!
If that achy knee just isn’t going away, go and see the experts for advice. Whether that’s your family practitioner, a massage therapist, chiropractor or physiotherapist, just go! Determining the problem in a timely manner can save you a lot of anguish in the future or on the day of the event.
7. Show Your Muscles Some Love
Use stretching exercises and yoga to enhance your training. Our partnership with Moksha Yoga Hamilton is a great way to get you into the studio and on the mat for your practice. Our Coaches are also an incredible resource for exercises and stretches to help prepare your muscles for race day. Coach Cole spends 20-30 minutes a day stretching, and recommends this to all of his runners in Run Club. His advice is to stretch from the ground up for ten to fifteen minutes, focusing on every major muscle group. Then, spend another ten to fifteen minutes foam rolling. It may seem like a lot, but trust us, your body will thank you!
8. Plan Your Diet And Hydration
We can’t stress this enough! It is vital to feed yourself right and drink the right amounts while training for a big event. Leading up to the race, you’ll want to maintain an intake of protein with carbohydrates. Why? Well, these have been shown to increase the absorption of glycogen, which is the body’s store of carbohydrate kept in the muscle and liver, and these help to give you energy. Fluid intake needs to be at a premium since water is also needed for glycogen storage. Definitely, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these can have a dehydrating effect on you, but we highly recommend a huge pasta dinner the night before the race!
9. Get Plenty Of Sleep And Quality Rest
Focus on dialling down your life and commitments so you can log a few extra hours of quality, peaceful sleep. Heading to bed earlier, taking naps, or sleeping-in on the weekend before are great ways to weave in a little more pillow time during your taper.
10. Plan A Finish Reward
This is the easiest part! With the upcoming Around the Bay Road Race, Momentum Fitness is proudly hosting an after party at our George Street location. We want to celebrate your huge achievement in finishing the race! Get ready for some pints, yummy snacks, massages, stretching, and a few extra surprises! By signing up for Team Momentum, you immediately receive information on how to prepare for the race, along with all the details you’ll need for race day, including details on our after party. Consider Momentum as your own personal race day concierge! See you at the finish line!