I told you that you would blink and race week would be upon you and here it is. Boom, six more days and six more sleeps and it will be game day. A day where you have put in months of work and maybe even a little sacrifice to arrive at, hopefully in the best shape of your life.
For some, there will be doubts on whether you’re fit enough to achieve your goals and that’s just normal.
“The most crucial time to believe is when you have no reason to”
You cannot get any fitter this week so don’t even try to push sessions in that hope. Taper is about fully soaking up the workload over the previous weeks and months, and keeping your systems lightly activated or as I like to say ‘idling’ and ready to unload come race day.
This is achieved by a lot less volume than normal and the intensity should also be broken in to small chunks. One of my favourite race week (Tuesday or Wednesday) runs I prescribe to athletes pretty much covers all the system bases and is as follows:
40-50′ run as
10-20′ Easy w/u
10′ as 10x[30″ Fast / 30″ Very easy jog] – this is how we stimulate but not annihilate our speed system
10′ easy jog c/d
The biggest way you can literally stuff your race this week is with carbo-loading.
I have written about this before, I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago but I’ll rehash it because it’s that important.
You cannot increase your muscle glycogen stores between now and race day. PERIOD. For the full reason read here or just read the cliff notes below.
Your muscles can only hold 90 minutes worth of fuel going at a pretty solid pace. You develop this 90 minute tank over the weeks and months of your training by diligently getting in your post session recovery fuel within 30 minutes of each session finishing. If you haven’t done this, than I’m sorry to say it’s too late to try now.
In race week both your volume and intensity will be down, and since your appetite probably won’t reduce with the reduction in workload, you’ll effectively be eating extra anyway. When the muscle glycogen tank is full and we try to stuff more in this week our bodies have to do something with this food and something the body can do well with excess fuel intake is store it as FAT.
Do you really want to be adding weight in race week?
I don’t think so and you definitely do not want or need to sabotage your race day performances. So what do you do?
DO what your body is USED to every other week. Now is not the time to dramatically change what your body is used to in the food intake department. If anything slightly reduce what you eat as it will keep your tank full and not shift to overflow and need to be used for fat storage.
A couple of days out, reduce your fiber intake and all will be good.
Keep your eye on the prize peoples. There is only six more sleeps and hopefully your jumping out of your skin like a little kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive. This is what you have invested so much into.
So to recap on this and previous posts about race week performance, this week keep your sessions light and also lightly stimulate your systems to keep them “on the ready”, eat like you do every other week of the year… your body is used to this. Go to bed early, visualise your perfect day, don’t get caught up in race week hype, if you start getting anxious… BREATHE and look back over all the good work you have done and stay in the moment.
I’ll be cheering you all on in Port.