How you should spend the last week before the event is a really important question. Getting this right will certainly impact how you feel on the start line. Here we describe how to make the most of the final few days.
You should have reduced the volume of training this week. In another article, specifically on tapering, we talk about the fact that you cannot get fitter in the last few weeks before a race, you can either lose fitness by not doing enough, turn up ready or turn up not fully recovered to take advantage of all the training you have been doing.
Rules of thumb for an effective taper:
- Do~ 30% of your weekly average training volume over the last 6-8 weeks
- Maintain the frequency of your training (the number of sessions)
- Maintain the intensity but reduce the duration of any efforts that are at or above race pace to
Pace and Nutrition Plan
Stay well hydrated this week and keep an eye on your weight. You are training less and can put weight on, so adjust your food intake accordingly. On race day, stick to your nutrition plan and try nothing new – repeat what you do in training. But be prepared to respond to what your body is telling you and so be flexible depending on the conditions. For example, on the run, be prepared to walk through the feed stations so you can take on enough fluid.
You should now know what your sustainable race pace is and you should stick to this. The rule of thumb here is that you should race with a feeling that you could go harder if you wanted to. Fatigue builds during long course racing and so a moderate effort will become harder as the race progresses.
KEY POINT: Nutrition and pacing need to work in tandem – you cannot get one right without the other.
Summary must do’s and don’ts
- Make sure you taper during this last week
- Know what your sustainable race pace is and listen to your body
- Know what your nutrition plan is and be flexible
- Recce the course if you do not know it (by car – and take it in!)
- Check and double check all your equipment
- Plan your strategies for what if scenarios & for keeping a positive mindset
- Do NOT have a deep tissue massage in the last week. If you want a massage have a light Swedish option only!
- Visualise your race going as you plan
- Think about the process of what you are doing, stay in the moment and do not analyse your race on the run – keep focused!
- Do visit us at our stand during registration if you have any questions.