It´s competition season right now for winter athletes. Time to talk about some pre-race strategies.
When it comes to pre-race strategies, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
You want to make sure you're properly hydrated and have eaten a nutritious meal. It's also important to get a good night's sleep before the big day. But don´t forget, it's not just the day before a competition that counts. If, for some reason, the sleep wasn't such great the night before the race, it is not going to ruin everything. That's why athletes can stay calm and don't have to doubt their performance ability before the competition even started. This doesn´t open the window to disrupt a good night of sleep, partying until late actively. I only want to make the point that no athlete needs to freak out when the sleep wasn't the best one the night before the competition. If the sleep wasn't good for a whole week the effect on the performance may be noticeable.
On the other hand, a good night's sleep, proper nutrition, and hydration only for race day aren't enough either. Days leading into the competition are at least as important as race day itself. That's why this first pre-race strategy is a multi-day event.
Another key element of the pre-race strategy is to have a game plan. Know what your goals are for the race and how you plan on achieving them. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the race. With goals, I don´t mean an end result! This may sound a little off, but the end results include so many unpredictabilities and areas an athlete doesn't have control over. This doesn't mean you can not have the goal to win, be in the top ten, or any other result goals - just the focus needs to shift towards actions the athlete has control over.
One part of the game plan is knowing what training should happen leading into a race. Another part is knowing the competition tracks or venue. Alpine skiers, Skeleton athletes, and other speed sports where every split of a second count, having important in-depth course scans. Also, xc skiers ski the tracks before the race, to know what sections, corners, and transitions are areas to make or lose time. Biathletes check out the range and get a feeling of how wind conditions affect the aiming lane. All of those can not be done on race day only. That's why there are training options before the race, so the final game plan is getting created at least the day before but refined the day of the competition.
Finally, don't forget to warm up before the race. It actually should be part of the race day game plan. A proper warm-up will help your body to be prepared for the physical demands of the race. It sounds almost too simple, but the simple parts are sometimes easy to skip because they seem to be too simple to have the desired impact. Little things often make a big difference. Not being warmed up when hearing the starting signal, means that the athletes are warming up when others are already full-on racing.
By following these simple tips, you'll be on your way to having a successful race.
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Feeling Comfortable at the Start Line
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