I recently made available for FREE this “Race Week Worksheet” to help athletes prepare for an event. The worksheet not only ensures that athletes have their logistics squared away, but also that their head is in the game and ready to rock come race day. Here is a brief description of how to use it and where to get yours!
The Race Week Worksheet is designed to be downloaded and printed so that you can keep it available at all times. It’s a fill in the blank form meant to keep you on point. There are two separate sections; Race Logistics and Race Week Mental Preparation. Making sure that your logistics are set is important so that those details don’t take your focus off your performance. Then, and this takes just a few minutes, answer the questions regarding Mental Preparation. These few minutes could literally be the difference between the podium and DNF. Here is a quick break down of each section.
This is pretty self explanatory, but a helpful way to keep the details sorted. Making sure that you have the race start time and location correct prevents any mishaps come the morning of the event. Researching the predicted weather and then establishing your clothing and gear needs based on that is crucial for proper preparation. This could also effect your race day nutrition, which hopefully you already have tried and tested, but this area of the worksheet gives you an area to write down exactly what you need to have with you. Finally, establishing your race day transportation plan is a big one. In a smaller race it might be as simple as driving your car to the start/finish area but big city events with thousands of participants often requires the use of public transportation or a trusted friend. Don’t leave this important detail to the last minute.
The first two questions ask you about why you committed to this event and how you expected to feel after its completion. Its quite possible that a number of weeks, or even months have passed since the moment you clicked through Ultrasignup or Active.com and pulled the trigger to register for the race. Its important to remember, why, in that exact moment you knew it was a good idea. Getting back in touch with those feelings that made you sign up, including the sense of optimism, and burning desire to do the event you felt will help you bring all of your training full circle and have a great event. Consider how you thought it would feel to complete the event and then feel that same burning desire to grasp it now.
Many folks say that they like to “zone out” and let their thoughts wander during a hard workout or event. I believe that generally speaking its fine to do this, but when you know something is going to be tough, its better to have a game plan and direct your thoughts, otherwise, the “zoning out” can lead to a brutal downward spiral if things turn bad, or even cause you to go too hard and blow up if things are going well. First, when things are going well, its important to acknowledge how great you feel but temper that with sticking to your pacing plan and remembering that it likely won’t last forever. Second, when things start to feel like hell, its important to again remember, that it wont last forever. Races are full of ups and downs and maintaining an even keel throughout is a key to success.
Finally, and this is a super easy and important thing that you can do to prepare yourself mentally to have a great race. You must write your script, and stick to it. This is a mantra, a set of words or phrases that will be what your subconscious needs you to remember. This is unique to you! If you need to remember to be “steady” then steady should be one of your words. If you grateful for the experience then include gratitude. Whatever motivates and moves YOU. Keep it short and simple but meaningful and useful. It might be inspirational or it could be practical advice. Read this post about how the later worked for me during the Frosty Foot 50k.
Intrigued? Click HERE to get your FREE copy of the Race Day Worksheet! Have questions or comments? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org Also, I’d love your feedback on the Worksheet so feel free to leave a note in the comments or reach out to me directly!