Now that many of us are out of quarantine it is only natural to look for ways to increase our exercise and be outside as much as possible. One great way to do so is to sign up for an athletic race whether that be a run, triathlon, open water swim or other type of competitive sports activities. In the next couple of posts we are going to be talking about these races and how we can have the best experiences possible. These tips are from a casual racing perspective and not concerned with winning or intense competitor’s perspective; although, many of the tips could still apply. Let us know in the comments what you do to have a great race and we can all have a great experience.

Planning Ahead

Today’s post is all about planning ahead to have a great race. Having a good plan is crucial to success whether it be training ahead of the race, strategies during the race, and a plan for recovery after the race. Each aspect can make the race experience more pleasant and satisfying if it is well planned. .

  1. Training for the Race- Even if you have done a race before it is good to plan your fitness training regiment in advance. It is often best to start at a low pace and then slowly build up to the race course. For example, if you are swimming a one mile race start with 1/4 mile, and then 1/2, then 2/3rd etc. This will help reduce pre-race anxiety, increase likelihood of finishing and make recovery easier. Plus, the whole point for us casuals in signing up for a race is to get in shape so it defeats the purpose if we don’t train ahead of time.
  2. Planning your race strategy- recently when I competed in an open water swim I had a clear plan for how I was going to complete the race. First of all, I knew the course and what buoys I should be looking for and a plan for my strokes during the race. The goal was to do 25 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and then 25 breaststroke. Most people would probably want to do more freestyle as it is faster but since I didn’t care about time the breaststroke helps me to sight better and use different muscles than freestyle. Dividing the race into smaller batches also helps me to stay motivated and less overwhelmed by the scope of the race. While swimming it often feels like I am on a swim treadmill and not making any progress so finishing a batch of 50 strokes feels more manageable.We will go into a successful race day in future posts but suffice it to say the  more you have planned the better experience you will have. Anxiety will be less, recovery will be easier and finishing your goals is more likely. Remember to plan out recovery from your race using products like the Zim’s Max-Freeze Gel on the sore and achy muscles. If you do you will have a great experience and be ready for the next race!

Next week we are going to talk more about the race experience itself. Selecting the right race for you? How to stay motivated? Etc. What about you? What planning ahead helps you have a great race day experience? Please share with us in the comments