by dave henkel
With early season 'A' races for many athletes about 8 weeks away, I have been speaking to some of my athletes about several key items that will improve their performance and wanted to share these thoughts with the Nuuniverse. Here's some items to consider for your upcoming event. While these ideas are aimed towards triathletes, any endurance athlete can benefit from putting these tips into practice as your “big day” approaches:
Maintain consistency: If you've been missing a few workouts in the past month or so, that's ok. Now is the time to buckle down and hit the key sessions. If you're doing a long-distance event like a marathon or 70.3/140.6 race and feel strapped for time, make sure you not only get the volume but also include extended efforts at race intensity.
Learn the course: Do your homework! Ask questions of teammates, training groups, Facebook communities and race pages, even google. There's lots of knowledge out there. Removing uncertainty from the equation means more energy devoted to race performance.
Simulate the environment in training: Research what the weather conditions might be on game day and train for them. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. For example, we have lots of Speed Sherpa athletes riding in flat & hot conditions in June. To prepare for these races they will get on the bike trainer and suffer in the heat! You may need to be creative to artificially manufacture the heat. For example, wear an extra layer inside during a treadmill or trainer session. Or do that long run in the mid-day sun.
Preview the course if possible: Ride, and/or run the course you’ll be racing if at all possible. If not, find similar terrain near you or mimic it indoors. At very least, identify key sections (e.g. climbs, descents, turns, etc.) and practice those areas several times. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to pre-swim any course; however, a swim is often dictated by day-of weather conditions anyway.
Practice your nutrition: Train your gut now! During your key weekly training sessions, use the hydration and nutrition products that you intend to have on race day. Use them at the same time prior to and during your training session as you would on race day. Practice pre-loading electrolytes with nuun active the days before a key session if your race is likely to be hot and humid!
Test your equipment: Now is the time to be spending more time on and in your race day setup. For triathletes, make sure you're getting a significant amount of time in aero, and test the goggles and race kit you plan to use. For runners, break in those shoes, socks, visors, glasses, clothing, and any race belt you plan to wear.
Visualize race day: Whether it's during a workout or closing your eyes before bed, begin to imagine yourself in the race. I like to picture myself in a race once a week during a training session. When something bad happens in my mind, I start the visualization over and counter the challenge with positive solutions. It will give you a quiet confidence before the race and calm you in the face of adversity during the race.
Rally your support crew: Begin to plan for family and friends now to eliminate race week stress. They’re at the event to support you so if you need help with research or logistics, lean on them!
dave henkel is the head coach and co-founder of speed sherpa: mindful coaching. dave has been racing triathlons, cycling, swimming, and running events for more than a decade. he has qualified for 5 world championships including long course, short course, and off-road races. dave is a usat certified coach and has been coaching for more than 5 years. dave and his tri wife sara are both proud nuun elite athletes. they live in northern virginia, but dave coaches athletes across the country and is passionate about helping them all surpass their goals. you can connect with them over instagram or twitter, or follow the adventures of all of their athletes on facebook!
no comments yet
Be the first to comment below.