Race day is the ultimate culmination of an enormous amount of hard work. Over the last few months, you’ve made sacrifices in time and energy, put in the tough training hours and ensured your body is in tip-top physical shape for performance. BUT, even though your physiological self is race-ready, there are many other factors that can contribute to the success or downfall of race day. Nuun’s got you covered for the full mind-body-spirit preparation heading into the big day!
Mental preparation: Get your head right!
Know your course. Whether you’re running or riding, make sure that you have a solid understanding of the route ahead of you. It’s always a good idea to identify the challenging portions of a course-map so that you spend your energy ONLY on the physical hurdles and not trying to overcome the mental barriers. If possible, aim to visit the course ahead of race day and tackle the exact segments that, on paper, are raising red flags. If you’ve run through it once, your mind will know exactly what to expect, and that goes a long way!
The best part: Feed your face!
After all of the hard work you’ve put into training, it is absolutely essential to make sure that you’re properly fueled and hydrated for race day. Don’t let poor meal choices hold you back from your best performance. If you’re visiting for an out-of-town race, do your restaurant research ahead of time. Study menus and make a reservation to ensure you’re setting yourself up for nutritional success! Additionally, don’t forget to stay WELL hydrated in the days leading up to the race. Keep a tube of Nuun on you at all times for a little reminder to keep the fluids-a-flowin’.
The nuts and bolts: Create a race plan!
Having a “successful” race day holds little to no meaning without your own personal definition of success. When you toe the line, be honest with yourself: what is your dream goal? If circumstances keep you from reaching that goal, what’s your reach goal? If race day throws you some curveballs, what’s your bottom line goal?
Your BIG goals are only achievable by ticking off mini-milestone goals throughout the way. For example, if you’re running a marathon, perhaps you set a mini goal pace for every 5k-10k. This gives you a more frequent opportunity to check in with yourself and reassess as needed.
Lastly, through months of training, you understand the frequency of fuel/hydration your body needs to sustain energy and endurance. When studying the course map ahead of time, make a race plan on when and where you’ll stop for water and fuel breaks. This decision is totally customized to you and your needs. Stop when needed and prepare your body for the miles ahead!
Beat the mental game: Have your mantras ready!
When the going gets tough, have your fighting words ready. Sometimes, the voices inside our heads can be our own worst enemies when we’re out on the course. Come prepared to the starting line with your strongest, most impactful mantras ready to fight back against any mental doubts and demons.
Relax, recover, reflect: Make time for you!
Congratulations! You did it! Take a deep breath, and take it all in. When you’ve worked this hard, you owe it to yourself to take some time to celebrate (in whatever way that works for you). Take a day off following your race. Give yourself permission to indulge in all things that make YOU happy (Pedicures? Milkshakes? Craft beer?). A successful race day will become all the more memorable if you allow yourself time to relax, recover and reflect on your achievements!
Best of luck out there!
The first step is to make sure that you’re properly fueled and hydrated for race day!