Get Organized for Race Week
by Brady DeHoust
A good friend always sends me the same email the Monday before the following weekend’s big event: “It’s race week!” Race week can and should be exciting. The hard work is done and the only thing really left to do is press “play.” However, making race week what it should takes preparation and planning prior to the actual race week. I like to think about not having to think during race week.
It’s risky to consider the day after your last big day -- often three weeks from your event if racing long course -- your “taper” period. A better label is “sharpening.” Athletes often assume that, once in taper mode, the body should always feel great -- primed and ready for race day. This isn’t and shouldn’t be the case. After months of training and some peak volume, the body will carry (good) fatigue even when volume decreases. What’s important is that muscular fatigue doesn’t increase in this period and recovery is quick from any training session.
The beginning of the sharpening period is a good time to start the planning process to ensure you have a relaxed and productive race week with minimal thinking or decision-making. Consider making a checklist (yes, another checklist!) for things you should do ahead of time:.
Race week is the true taper week; the blade is sharpened and there’s no more fitness to gain. What you have is what you’ll use on race day. Chris McDonald wrote about this recently. Being organized will allow this week to play an important role in the outcome of your race. Less clutter in your mind will open space to relax and ultimately prepare the body for the event you’ve been preparing for with all those miles and meters.
Brady lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons where he works as an IT software systems consultant. His biggest success is finding the ability to train and race at the top of the age group while balancing family, work, and everything else in life.