Remove Race Day Stress with a Pre Race Routine
Have you ever gone into a race feeling disorganized, rushed, worrying about what you have forgotten, purchasing whatever is available for race food & fluids from the dairy on the way, borrowing things, discovering that your equipment is broken at the last minute, missing a key piece of information about the course because you were distracted? The list goes on! If this was the case you were probably be at the start line feeling anxious, flustered and unable to concentrate on what you should be focusing on for racing well.
Do yourself a favour. Remove all this unnecessary stress and plan yourself a pre race routine. This will help you go into the race feeling organized, prepared, less nervous and able to focus on the important things such as your technique, warm up, keeping calm, positive & confident etc.
The routine should start at least the day before. Pack your gear bag, check all your equipment, organize your pre, during & post race nutrition. Work out what time you need to arrive so you have plenty of time to get through the toilet queue & complete your warm up. Include things that will set you up emotionally & psychologically. This may be listening to some music to get you in the mood or just so that you don’t have to listen to other athletes worries/stresses. Personally I find it very stressful listening to other kayakers talking about a nasty feature on the river that I am about to paddle. I’m better off believing in the skills I have & paying most of my attention to the technique I will use to negotiate the feature. So some ear buds to cut out all this pre race nervous chatter are very useful!
Controlling what you look at can be another benefit, especially if you look at other athletes & tend to think that they look much fitter or have better gear than you. Just don’t go there! Focus on what’s going to help you race better, feel confident & have more fun.
Example Plan for the Day Before:
12:00 Pack Compulsory Gear
13:00 Check bike gears, brakes, tyres
13:00 Check laces on run shoes
13:00 Organise race food & pack into race pack
18:00 Work out travel time to start allowing for any hold ups
18:30 Eat Pre Race Meal
20:00 Attend Race Rego
22:00 Bed Time
Example Plan for Race Day:
06:30 Leave Accommodation
07:00 Set Up Transition Gear
07:25 Pre Race Snack
07:30 Warm Up
07:50 Pre Race Mantra
07:55 Start Line
08:00 Go, Be Your Best!