Race Week Prep

It's Monday evening and the next race Skechers Performance Triathlon Series / MultiSport Canada is just a few days away.  This time, the Town of Gravenhurst plays host to the big event.

If you haven't done this race before, you're in for a treat.  I've previously written that the venue is like a Group of Seven painting.  The transition zone sits below a majestic rock outcropping and just across the street from the wharf and the Muskoka Steamships.  Gorgeous.

With Gravenhurst on the immediate horizon, I thought I would share some of my race-week tips, as well as my packing list.

Weekend Prior
  • Bike Check - Getting my bike repaired during race week is going to be more complicated than, say, buying a new set of elastic shoe laces, so I will look it over and make sure everything is in working order.  This weekend, I adjusted my front brake, using a tutorial I found on YouTube and installed my carbon race wheel.
  • Meal Plan and Groceries - I will map out my meals to make sure my body has the nutrients I will need on race day.  Now is not the time to cut back or try new diets!  I will pick up some protein bars to take with me to the race and stock up on supplements like Glutamine and Vega One.  
  • Travel Logistics - I usually rent a car to get to these events, so I will make sure the paperwork is in order, as well as my hotel reservation.

Carefully inserting the cork brake pads for my carbon race wheel.

Week Prior
  • Taper - Much has been written about tapering, so I won't repeat it here, suffice to say that I LOVE tapering, because all of the residual fatigue and occasional soreness disappear and are replaced with muscle strength and endurance, primed to go!  That being said, the season is too short to do a big taper before every race, so for Gravenhurst, I will reduce some of my volume, while maintaining some race pace intensity. 
  • Massage - In order to deal with some of that residual fatigue I mentioned above, I'll try and get a massage treatment.  I went for one tonight, knowing that I needed it after the heavy training load of the last two weeks. 
  • Diet - Using the plan I made on the weekend, I eat more protein and dark green vegetables.  I'll also make sure that some of my meals include ginger, to help with muscle soreness.  Since Gravenhurst is usually a hot race, I will make sure to hydrate well during the week. 
  • Edit: How in the world did I forget these last two? 
  • Sleep - I've noticed a HUGE difference in my mood, energy and performance on race day when I arrive well rested, so the week of an event, I'll be aiming for nearly eight hours a night for the final few nights. 
  • Reflection - I pause to consider how happy I am to have discovered the sport of duathlon through the MultiSport Canada series so many years ago.  I think about how much fun this will be and I visualize myself on the race course, pushing through the tough periods and feeling relaxed and confident.  
Feeling fresh and limber after a massage at the Runners Academy.  
Now if only I had taken the picture so you could see the MultiSport Gravenhurst logo on my shirt!

I do my best to avoid packing the night before departing for a race, but sometimes it happens!  This week, I've got a board meeting on Tuesday evening and a race simulation workout on Wednesday, so by process of elimination...  I will do most of my packing on Thursday, the night before I leave.

I've put together this handy packing list to make sure I don't leave critical items at home!  Feel free to download and modify - if you're a triathlete, don't forget your wet suit, goggles and other swim equipment!

Good luck with your preparations this week and happy racing!