Updated: Apr 2, 2019
My team and I are just a couple of days away from our Spartan Race and these next two days will be very important to help us prepare our bodies and mind for the big day!
Whenever you’re doing any type of race or sporting event (running, biking, obstacle course, boxing, etc.) it’s important to give yourself a full week or two to prepare for the big day.
Here are some of the ways I prepare my athletes as well as my team a week before their event:
If you’re doing strength or HIIT training, keep working out like normal, however cut back your intensity by 60 – 70%. Instead of lifting heavy doing low reps, lift light to moderate weight and high reps. When doing HIIT training, instead of going all out at 90 – 100% of your max heart rate, train at around 60% of your max heart rate, or right between zones 1 and 2.
Cardio – keep in light and steady state. If you’re unable to carry on a conversation while performing your workout, ease up on your intensity.
Running – do a couple of short runs that week, but a couple of days before your race, just focus on stretching and foam rolling.
Spend at least 10 to 20 minutes each day stretching and foam rolling, making sure to hit the key areas such as your hips, legs and calves.
Make a checklist of race day essentials: backpack, race clothes and shoes, BodyGlide or Vaseline for chaffing, cash, photo ID, change of clothes, towel, race fuel (electrolytes, bars, gels, chews), post-race fuel (protein, electrolytes, fruit, bars), sunscreen, band-aids, water
Make sure to get some sleep! If you know that you suffer from race day jitters the night before, try going to bed a little earlier. You can also try doing yoga or meditation. Make sure to shut off your phone and TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed and whatever you do, do NOT try taking a sleepaid! This could potentially cause you to have a foggy-head, headache or wooziness the next day. If your event is in the morning, make sure to wake up at least 2 hours beforehand to allow your body time to wake up, eat and digest.
Nutrition two days before your event:
This part is VERY important! This is not a time to try something new; keep your diet as normal as possible and avoid any known foods that may cause GI distress (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea). Avoid alcohol as this can dehydrate you, instead, focus on drinking electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, PowerAde or Pedialyte. The night before and the day of the race, avoid high-fiber foods such as whole-grains and vegetables. Instead, opt for simple carbohydrates. This is especially important the day of the race. Whole-grains contain fiber which helps to keep the body ‘regular’ and the last thing you want to do during a race is have to poop! So instead, focus on simple carbs like a bagel or you can try out Spartan rockstar Amelia Boone’s tried and true race day breakfast of choice- PopTarts! Simple carbs are important because you want those sugars to be readily available during your race vs. being slowly released as with complex carbs. If your race is going to last more than an hour, I highly recommend keeping gels or chews on you to eat throughout your race. A favorite of mine are Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews. While watching the IronMan race a couple of weeks ago, I had also discovered a new favorite of mine that would be great to have an hour before your race as well as during your race or event: Gatorade Endurance Formula Powder. Both items will help to replenish lost electrolytes and carbohydrates (sugars).
1 to 2 hours before your race/event:
Make sure to hydrate. Drink 16oz. of water 1 to 2 hours before your race.
Go to the bathroom.
Make sure you have everything you need during the race: gels, water, headphones, etc.
Give yourself a pre-race pep talk! Stay positive and fight off any nerves by telling yourself: I got this! Quitting is NOT an option! I’ve prepared myself for this! Or whatever else that might motivate you!
And last, but not least… HAVE FUN!