Race Day Prep by Laura Fidler
Its always strikes me during race season how many people go into races not really being properly prepared for the task ahead. Even if you are not aiming to be competitive, surely you want to always be the best that you can be? So with the race season coming to a close I’ll take you over the things I do leading up to race day to ensure that everything goes to plan.
- Race briefing– So controversially I do not like attending race briefings, I find them stressful and draining but I fully agree and encourage that you should attend them if this makes you feel settled. For me, I prefer to read through the course info in my own time and I’ll make notes of anything key that I’m unsure about to ask a marshal on the day. Despite the fact that I generally do not attend briefings, I ALWAYS know the course inside out. I know where aid statins are, transition flow, swim direction etc… when you line up on the start line its important to not have any surprises.
- Driving/ riding the course– Again controversially I will rarely ride the course. This is wasted energy and time too close to race day. I will drive the course if I have time and its not a stress to fit it in but I have raced many courses having not driven or ridden it before hand. Just studying the course map on various apps such as strava, Mapmyride will provide me with the relevant information that I need to plan how I am going to ride.
- Pre race day: I try to keep this day as relaxed as possible. I will try to keep off my feet as much as I can and I will ensure that I’m not sucked into any unnecessary travel, socialising or stressing. I will ensure bags are packed, kit and bottles are prepared and that I have a schedule of the timings I need to do things such as rack and register, with as little as possible toing and froing.
- Pre race nutrition– the final days before a race I only eat or drink what I know works for me. I ensure I have packed lunches where necessary and snacks to hand to ensure I am keeping myself fuelled. I do not do a specific carb loading but I will ensure that every meal and snack has a good dose of carbohydrate to ensure that I am fuelled properly into the race. I have previously suffered from lots of stomach so I now swear by a full rice diet the day prior to racing. Each meal will consist of rice and then I add protein and a small amount of fruit or veg as I feel to taste.
- Race day nutrition– Again, I only eat what I have tried and tested. For 70.3 I use a high carbohydrate bottle that is pre mixed to provide 65g/CHO per hour and then I have another bottle that I reload with water as needed at aid stations. This keeps things super simple and ensures I don’t have any stomach issues during the race.
- Take time away from the crowds– its easy to get sucked into the hustle and bustle of the expo etc, so ensure that you take some time to relax and unwind before the race. I only attend the things that I absolutely need to and then ensure that I am resting as much as possible in between.
- Be positive– a race can be lost on your mental approach to it. You will experience highs and lows during the race and how you overcome and embrace these feelings is crucial to you achieving a good result. I try to focus on being “in the moment” and my mantra is always “keep moving”.
Laura is supported by ETE, Haven Power, and ThirdFin