Give your performance a boost, with these non-running based tips that will help maximise the training you’ve done and get the most out of you when your goal event arrives.
Get more sleep in the days prior
You cannot underestimate the value of having plenty of good rest in race week. It’s not the night before the event that matters, but those in the week prior. Try to have a minimum of 8 quality hours per night. This means turning off the devices a couple hours prior to bedtime and winding down so that you have a deep and restful slumber.
Eat cleaner for a few weeks
There’s no need to fundamentally shift your eating habits ahead of an event. It can actually cause more harm than good. Instead, just apply a little bit of discipline and consume less junk and packaged foods. Increase the fresh fruit and veggies and drink more water. It’ll help make you feel fresh and light come the big day.
Have a dry spell
If you’re a regular drinker of alcoholic beverages, it would pay to have a self-imposed detox for a week or two. By reducing your alcohol consumption your body will better be able to process other toxins. Plus you’ll be consuming less inflammatory substances that can hinder recovery. Another plus side is that apart from saving you some cash, you will appreciate the post race beer or wine a whole lot more.
Get a massage
A few days before kick off, take the time to see a masseuse and get a good, hard rubdown. Ideally you want a sports specific massage that focuses on all the sore spots and makes you squirm around on the table. However, if one of those relaxing massages is more to your liking, then use the time on the table to reflect on your race prep and plans for the event.
Visualise the race
Most people put all their energy into the running part or race preparation, but neglect getting their mind ready. Your headspace is often the most important element in performance. You want to feel confident and relaxed. You should have visualised how you want the day to unfold. Where you want to be at what times. How you intend on feeling…the more detailed the visualisation the better! It’s best done in a state of relaxation, away from noise and distractions. Think of it as focussed meditation.
The better prepared you are the day before the race, the less stress and wasted mental energy you’ll have when it matters. You’ll potentially need warm clothes, a drink and some light food for prior to the run. If you’re doing an ultra there’s all the mandatory gear and drop bags for during the event. You’ll want your race vest/pack stocked with everything and your hydration bladder either filled with water already, or prepped with the soluble powder you use as your sports drink. For afterwards make sure there’s something to eat and drink, a change of clothes and some cash for the post event beverage. Separate everything into different packs or sections of a larger bag. And don’t leave doing all this to the last minute, late at night, when you should be in bed!