THE T:ZERO BLOG
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Leading into a race, especially race week, can be fairly stressful. With travel, accommodation, check in times for the race, remembering to eat & drink, plus, ya know, all that nervous energy and thoughts around the race… the list can get on the large side of things. And if that race happens to be an ‘A Race’ that you have been training all year for, little things can sometimes become big things. Pre race nerves/excitement are completely normal, and part of the journey, plus it shows you care right? There’s a line somewhere in there though, and if we cross that line and the stress of it all becomes a bit much, then this can most definitely take the edge off laying down the performance you are capable of, and deserve.
We know that stress comes in many forms. The usual stressors we generally consider might be:
We’re human, we stress about stuff, and we need a certain amount of it to grow, learn, adapt etc. But during race week, we should be aiming for less manic and more Fonzie (millennials might want to open Google here). Not necessarily all zen like or anything, but if there’s one week where we have enough to ponder without sweating the stuff we have complete control over, it’s race week.
In a nutshell, the more decisions you have to make, especially during race week, the higher the stress levels and the less your chances are of having that top shelf performance you are searching for. The less decisions and therefore lower levels of stress onboard, the more you are able to relax, bank the brain biscuits, and cruise through to race day. You’re going to smile a heap more and enjoy the whole experience just that little bit more too. And…. the clincher, you’re going to increase your chances of keeping the tank of stress hormones full, to be used when you really need them most… making on the spot, basic and complex decisions during the race.
What are some things one could do to help keep the amount of decisions being made and subsequent stress levels at bay during race week you ask? Great question… let’s dive in.
Get uber organised - capital U… Uber:
Thinking ahead and getting stuff sorted as early as you can is down right performance enhancing.
Do your research:
Like researching the local cuisine if you’re heading overseas, perhaps a little homework about the local area will help too, Google is a great friend for this.
The actual race: this goes without saying really, but read and re-read the course description, ask your coach about it, learn the particulars about the terrain, the surface, the weather etc. With my background in Outdoor rec/guiding, planning for the worst is a bit of a debbie downer way to approach some things, but when it comes to being prepared mentally for what might happen, if you know all this stuff well in advance, it won’t be such a blow to the system because the decisions have already been made in your head.
Other stuff like visas, currency, culture/customs, spare gear etc. The list goes on.
To sum it up. Race week is something we should hit feeling ready in all areas, especially in terms of the things within our control. Arrive at your race feeling fresh, organised, and happy, with all the big decisions you have within your realm of control, doneski.
Arrive at your A Race, with the goal of enjoying the experience, and giving yourself every opportunity you possibly can of having the best possible performance on race day - physically, and mentally. Of course, training for ultra distance events where there are many hours/days/nights out there in the elements and a bunch of technical aspects to it as well, things are going to happen, it’s a given. But if you’ve arrived and had an enjoyable, low stress, low decision making week leading in, the decisions you make while you’re deep into your race, will happen faster and with greater accuracy. Decision fatigue is real… save the brain biscuits for race day ;-)
Now, the most important decision I will make today... should I have Nana Betty’s tomato relish or the mango chutney on my poached eggs? My brain hurts ;-)
#tzeromultisport #savethebrainbiscuits #decisionsdecisions #nanabettywins
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HEAD COACH SCOTTY FARRELL
An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!