One month before an important race, runners should start focusing on specific details. When training for an important race for months, once the final month arrives, some runners think that now everything should be easy and simple, tapering will start soon and they can just relax and take it easy. But organizing everything and preparing for a race is not that simple. Making sure that you make the right decisions with your training during the final weeks can have a huge impact on the race.
Six tips on pre-race preparation
Running volume- One month before an important race is still too early to cut back on training volume, usually the tapering should start two weeks before the race for more experienced runners. The longer the distance and the newer the runners a three-week tapering is more recommended, decreasing the weekly mileage and the weekly long run. It’s better to get into a race feeling a bit over energetic than tired. The tapering guideline is three weeks before the race to run 70% of your training volume, two weeks before 50%, and the week before to focus on shorter easier runs.
Avoid last minute panic training- If this is one of your first longer distance races, or your training schedule was affected by your life schedule, some runners start to get anxious and tend to push hard two weeks before the race, which is a big mistake. Training hard two weeks before a race might make you stronger mentally, but physically more tired, and it might increase the risk of injuries.
Go over all the race details- One month before a race you have already gone over most of the race details. But to review all the details of the race a few weeks before the start will be very helpful in preparing for the race mentally and physically. Months before the race you have already gone over the details of the trail, terrain, elevation, altitude, and course. But in the month before the race to go through all the specific details is very important, go on the website, look for the location and the number of checkpoints, what food and drinks will be available, the mandatory gear needed, the cutoff times. Knowing all this information in advance will make it much easier and less stressful on race-day.
Nutrition- The month before an important race, to follow your regular healthy diet is very important. Never switch to a new diet a few weeks before a race. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet that your body is happy with. If you have some nutrition issues during the race, post-race you can start making some changes.
Sleep- Not getting a good night sleep the night before a race is not as bad as not getting good night sleep for weeks before the race. What will make a huge impact is the quality and quantity of sleep the month before the race. Even going to bed 30 minutes earlier than your normal schedule will improve your energy levels.
Avoid life stresses- To manage to avoid every day stress from your life a month before the race, you will start into the race feeling more relaxed and rested. Make changes in some of your schedules if you can, reschedule some stressful plans or commitments. Having a little freer time the week before a long-distance race will allow you to go into the race feeling stronger and more positive.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!