Race season is in full flow and for most athletes, you will have 1 or 2 keys races in your season where all your training and preparation is geared towards those races. Certainly if it is an Ironman race, then that preparation and timing is key as you can’t just go and do another one the next weekend if it doesn’t quite go to plan.
There is the old cliche that getting to the start line 100% ready and healthy is harder than the race itself. I feel there is a lot of truth in that. You will undoubtedly have invested a lot of hours of training and family sacrifice. You may well have invested in a coach and then out of the blue you get sick or injured a couple weeks out. This period before the race is crucial. Even though the majority of your training is in the bank, you want to feel good and carry that momentum into the race and keeping your thoughts positive not wasting energy thinking about something. If you get sick in the lead up it is going to have a knock on effect if you are racing an Ironman. You have to respect the distance.
On the other hand very few athletes are genuinely 100% ready on race day and therefore it is about being able to get the most out of yourself on the day and 9/10 you will be fine.
Key things you can do in the final 2 weeks-
- Don’t dig a hole in training. For example, you don’t need to prove anything to yourself in the hard sessions in the final lead in. Just tick the sessions off and leave something for race day.
- Eat, drink and sleep well.
- Have a bit of good luck.
- Listen to your body. An athlete knows their body best so you know the difference between getting sick and just being a little nervous. It is natural to sometimes feel a little sluggish during your taper.
- Put yourself in a giant bubble and speak to no one (This is a joke)