Sports Medicine Specialist and marathon runner, Marc Kowalsky, MD, provides tips to stay the course leading up to a big race day.
How do you handle the last few weeks leading up to a big race? You have dedicated months to training. You’ve re-arranged your schedule to fit it all in. You’ve plunged into cold waters time after time, spent hours on the bike and covered countless miles running. Chances are most of this training has taken place before sunrise, or after dark, while others are sleeping or relaxing at home. Congratulations for getting to this point. Now, in the final stretch, it’s important to to keep the following advice in mind.
DON’T OVER TRAIN
The lion’s share of your training has already occurred. Now is not the time to radically ramp up your training, or try to make up for past lapses in your training program. Too much training in the final stages before a big race only increases your chance for an injury that could put you on the sidelines instead of the starting gate. Have confidence in the incredible amount of work you have done, and maintain your momentum during the home stretch.
FOCUS ON FUEL
It’s extremely important for endurance athletes, particularly those new to the sport, to focus on fuel in these final days of training. Proper hydration, nutrition, and sleep are as important as training and will give you the energy reserves you’ll need to safely reach your goal.
INSPIRATION AND GRATITUDE
Regardless of what inspired you to take part in this Triathlon, now is the time to remind yourself of the reason you began this process and the progress you’ve made. You are about to accomplish an amazing feat of athleticism. Congratulate yourself for that and remember to thank everyone else who helped get you to the finish line.