We have found that having a race plan is an essential element for any race to be successful. So many people just simply don't think to have one and then fail to execute. The race plan can be as simple or as detailed as you like and it's designed to keep you focused in "the moment" that I talked about in my last article.
There are 8 key elements to the race plan to consider, pre-race | Start | Swim phase |Bike phase | Run Phase | Transitions | Nutrition and finally Recovery. All these elements need consideration.
"Live in your moment"
So let's just look at what I would consider for the pre-race phase of say a 70.3. If I look back to my Race at Taupo 70.3 where I had a great race which felt easy in the lovely cool climate that is New Zealand in December.
How did I prepare? - first thing to consider is the travel how much time will you be inactive for? Can I make this a rest day in my taper plan, if so will it be good quality rest (we will cover off on rest days in my next blog). How long will I have in the race location prior to the race. I don't like rushing and I like to be on time this is sometimes a challenge in its self when your partner races too as we tend to have different priorities and time lines so we have to discuss this in our plan so there aren't any surprises or stress.
I always travel with my Pre race breakfast which is normally porridge and mashed banana a bit of honey and a pre-race drink. I have been caught out on a few occasions where I haven't been able to buy this, so now it goes with me. I like to get checked in the day before nice and early and have all my gear sorted as early as possible. Once I have assembled my bike I will go for an easy 20 min roll to activate the legs and check the bike gears brakes etc. An easy 15 min run off the bike is generally followed by a good breakfast. Once checked in we will go and have a look at the swim start and get some local knowledge on conditions for the morning - I usually try to get in the water, just for a 10 min swim which in Taupo I'm glad I did as the water was 8 degrees so give me an idea of what to expect.
Know how to Chillax
Once checked in I make sure my evening meal - I like to cook rather than a restaurant if possible so I can eat what I have been having before my big bricks on a weekend so less chance of an upset stomach- is sorted. Then it's time to chillax with my feet up rest the legs and study the course. If you have time pre-race we like to drive the bike course.
Alarm is set in good time so I work backwards from my start time at least 3 hours. Breakfast done at a leisurely pace and start my hydration I pre drink 750 - 1lt during breakfast and I keep sipping fluids every 15 mins up until 5 mins before race start. If possible I will get in the water and have a good warm up - we weren't able to do this at Taupo which did cause problems at the start which wasn't in the race brief! We were corralled in to the water in to a holding area for 3 mins then corralled to the start line it was really cold and we waited there for a further 3 mins. The start wasn't pretty which saw many people pull out, due to the cold, so always be prepared for the unexpected and be flexible in your mind set.
So to sum up a plan is key to your race success as well as less stress On the day, know what you’re going to do when you’re going to do it and stick to it as much as possible, this includes your pacing it's easy to run of the bike fast but 10k later when you’re walking you will be kicking yourself for not sticking to your pacing that you practiced in training.
The best race you will have is if you plan and execute your plan well.
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