One Week From Race Day: How I Prepare and Train in the Final Days Leading Up to the Race

One Week From Race Day: How I Prepare and Train in the Final Days Leading Up to the Race

It’s almost show time! Only one week from race day and that nervous, anxious feeling has already begun. My next race is the Savage Race and I’m traveling to Dallas for this one. Being that I’m a beginner in this sport, I’m trying to get prepared for it without overdoing it. Last time I took way more than I needed, but I was also missing a few things that I want to make sure I have with me.  My lessons learned will hopefully help others prepare for their upcoming races, and save them from some of the guesswork and hassle I’ve had to go through.

About 7 to 10 days out, race details will be sent out, including the all important wave time.  Another important item to watch for is the waiver. Not imperative to fill it out beforehand, but it saves time and one less thing to worry about after you arrive on the grounds.  For one of my races, that part of the process was not very well organized and caused a lot of unnecessary delay in getting in.  You can save yourself some time and frustration by filling the waiver out ahead of time and taking it with you to the race. Oh, and don’t forget your ID.

As for other items, here’s what I’m taking with me to the race:

  • Salt tablets
  • Gu gels
  • Pickle juice
  • Change of clothes (don’t forget underwear)
  • Extra shoes and socks (flip-flops are the best option, if it’s not too cold)
  • Trash bag for all your wet and dirty stuff
  • Pedialyte
  • Towel
  • Hydration pack
  • ID
  • Money (for parking, snacks/drinks, and souvenirs)

While that may not be an all-inclusive list for everyone, it definitely hits the essentials and will go a long way in having you prepared for your race.

This week, I will be throttling back on my training.  I don’t want to risk potential injury and not be able to participate in the race.  That would be senseless!  Also, I want my muscles to be fully recovered and ready to rock when I hit the course.  I will go Monday and Wednesday for a light full-body workout and then have Thursday and Friday to fully recover and be ready for Saturday.  Friday evening, I’ll start hydrating my body.  I’ll drink a bottle of Pedialyte (maybe even two) just to make sure I’m well hydrated.  I also always plan on getting a good night’s sleep, as I want my body and mind to be well rested.  The morning of, I’ll eat a good breakfast — not too heavy, but wholesome.  I’ll probably have some oatmeal with fruit in it, maybe add some granola — something along those lines.

When I get to the race, about one hour before it starts, I’ll take a few salt tablets.  About five minutes before the race starts, I’ll have a Gu gel and continue to hydrate (yes, still

Salt tablets and Gu gels for hydration and energy

sipping on Pedialtye).  Hydration is absolutely one of the most critical parts of performing well during the race.  Every 45 minutes to an hour into the race, I’ll have another Gu gel and along the same timeline, I’ll take a few more salt tablets.  There are other alternatives to the Gu gel, so feel free to explore and find what works for you.  Probably twice during the race, I’ll drink a pickle juice shot.  This helps with cramps, and if you read my previous post, you know I experienced severe cramps in my first race.  I never want to feel those ever again, so hopefully the pickle juice will keep the cramps away.

That’s pretty much it for my pre-race preparation.  Of course, I even went a little bit into my in-race activities.  The post-race stuff should be pretty obvious.  Basically, get clean, change clothes, continue to hydrate, and leave.  Then we usually go find somewhere close by to eat.  I’ve heard it’s not a good idea to eat a big meal right after a race, but… I’m always so hungry!  It just seems like the right thing to do, and it tastes so good!  Besides, I just finished a long, grueling race and I deserve it. 🙂

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