October 11, 2018
SWIMRUN SERIES| Competition | How to prepare for a race the day before
Swimrun is a sport you will never get tired of because of its adventurous nature. Eventually, you may decide to compete in it, so today we will be talking about critical aspects of the competition.
Preparation before a race can be somewhat stressful, especially if you are away from home and the race is held in an environment you are not familiar with.
One of the main keys to staying confident and keeping your nerves in check is to establish routines that allow you to rest assured that you have a handle on everything that is under your control.
Obviously, there are some things that you cannot control that will always be out of your hands, but knowing that you have done everything you can do will help you sleep better at night and rest before the big day, focusing only on the sport aspects of the event.
TIP 1 | Organize Everything That You Need the Day Before
As we mentioned in our other advice videos in which we went over methods of preparing for a swimrun , it is very important to train with the equipment that you will be bringing to the race beforehand.
A race, especially an important one, is not the right time to test brand new equipment that you are not 100% familiar with, nor is it the time to try new solutions that you have not already practiced.
Assuming that you are already familiar with all your materials, going over everything that you will need for the next day will help you keep the situation under control.
To do this, it is a good idea to take all of these items out of your luggage (such as your wetsuit, running shoes, etc.) and place them on the floor or on any surface in order to be able to see them all together.
It is helpful to review the order in which you will be needing the equipment (for example, think about what you will wear) and make sure that you have everything with you.
Later, you can put everything you need back into the bag, in reverse order of when you will need it, so that you will have whatever you need first right at the top of your bag the next day.
Avoid bringing anything with you that you know you will not need. Conserving physical and mental space will enable you to focus on what's really important.
TIP 2 | Watch What You Eat
It is important to stick to your routine in the moments leading up to the race as this will help you to calm your nerves, and food could turn into really critical part of this, causing the race to turn into a disaster if you are having stomach problems.
It is important to know yourself and avoid foods that could be harmful at all cost, taking into account not only what you eat the day before, but also the breakfast you will eat on the big day.
Avoid any food that can cause damage to your stomach or have a laxative effect, such as too many fruits and vegetables, grains, food that is excessively rich in fiber or foods that are high in fat with little nutritional value which can have undesirable effects. Stimulant drinks such as coffee aren't the best thing to have either since in addition to affecting your nerves, they can also do a real number on your stomach.
It might also be useful to train with the same foods you are planning to consume on the day of the race to ensure that your stomach will be settled. If you can, find out what nutrition brand will be available at the feed stations during the race, and if you haven't been able to train with that brand, or if you are not sure if it agrees with you, try to carry your own food so as to avoid any surprises at the last minute.
TIP 3 | Scout Out the Area Beforehand, and Try to Get There with Plenty of Time to Spare
Rushing never helps with stress, and even less so in an unfamiliar environment.
If possible, scout out the terrain the day before the event (a good time to do this would be when you go to collect your race bib, as this usually happens near where the race is held.) and try to mentally review the steps you will have to go through on race day so as to leave as little as possible to chance.
Ask yourself how you will be arriving to the venue where the race is held, and whether any public transportation has been organized for the race. If not, figure out whether you will have to drive to the event and where you can park your car. If you will be walking or using some other mode of transportation, figure out how much time you will need to get there, and then give yourself some extra time in case something comes up at the last minute.
Make sure you know where you will be able to change and where you will have to leave your things. It's a good idea to make a mental note of where the bathrooms are in case you have any unwelcome emergencies. Finally, calculate how much time you will need to arrive at the exit point, and add more time to this to be able to carry out your training routines.
Something as simple as reviewing all these things can help you calm your nerves so that you can go to sleep with a clear picture of the day of the event ahead, and you will know that you've got everything that is within your power under control.
You can watch our swimrunners talk about their experiences with this in the video below. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you want to learn more and follow us on our social networks for all the latest Orca news!