Race day is definitely my favorite day of the year… and here are a few tips and tricks that help me stay focused, prepared and keep nerves in check. And truthfully, I’ve always been a big fan of testing on the Concept2 Indoor Rower, because it was my ticket onto the US National Team.
Most importantly, remember that you can only control yourself, regardless of snowstorms, delayed announcers, obnoxious competitors, venue noise, traffic jams, and broken equipment. The real trick is to deal with the challenges at hand, without altering your performance once you finally make it to the starting line.
Day(s) Before CRASH-Bs:
- Remember that hydration starts approximately 48 hours before your race (and if you’re flying to Boston, double this number to four days because traveling takes a toll on your hydration).
- For the two or three days leading up to race day, acclimate your body by waking up at the same “race day hour” (and rehearse by setting two alarm clocks, one should be battery operated).
- Pack your erg bag the night before (snacks, sneakers, seat pad, watch, water bottle, extra pair of socks, post-race gear, ZICO water, iPod, book, etc.).
- Set out your race attire the night before and attach your bib number. Charge your techy stuff (iPod, etc.).
- Have a plan for where you’re going to store your bag during the race. Rehearse and time your warm-up in practice.
- Visualize and block out your schedule from the time you wake up until race time (and pad this schedule with some room, because parking, bathroom and the warm-up area are always extra hectic on race day).
- Stick to your normal breakfast routine of eating exactly what you normally eat before practice (FYI, I normally eat 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of oatmeal with flaxseed and wheat germ, a piece of fruit and coffee).
- Once you arrive at Agganis Arena, have your music turned up; however, be aware of what’s happening around you (i.e. you need to be able to hear the announcer).
- Double check that your watch is on “official race time” (ask a referee for official time, if it is not posted).
- Refrain from making major equipment or last minute attire changes—now is not the day to try out a new fan setting!
- Know where the closest restroom is to your warm-up and launching area.
- Leave plenty of time for warm-up and stretching.
- Do not let the noise and craziness of the CRASH-Bs atmosphere dictate your race—set out to accomplish your predetermined race plan and then if you’re feeling good with 300 meters to go, sit up, unleash an awesome sprint and go for it!
3, 2, 1 Attention Go!
Good luck at CRASH-Bs this weekend!