Trevor Hofbauer is an elite runner with New Balance Canada, and all this week, we’re helping New Balance promote the launch of their new 860v8. On the 22nd, Hofbauer will be making his marathon debut at STWM. Here, he breaks down the dos and don’ts of race weekend preparations.
Autumn is here. For us, that means marathon season is upon us and the road races are taking place more frequently. There are many ways to train for a race as well as many ways to screw it all up, so be prepared and don’t make a foolish mistake a week before your big day.
A well-balanced diet is a key component to a proper recovery and a successful race day. Stay consistent with your meal options and don’t try a new dish the week before a race. By human nature, it’s easy to crave certain foods, especially foods that we haven’t eaten in a long time, but risking your overall health for a few tasty bites is not worth it.
To add onto that tip, don’t consume a new type of gel on race day. Consume the gels that you normally would during long runs and workouts, an option that won’t turn your stomach over. Although gel stations on the race course are generous, don’t risk your whole race on consuming a product you’ve never consumed before.
With every race weekend comes the race expo. Expo’s are a great opportunity to purchase official race merchandise, limited branded apparel, new running accessories, and discounted footwear. Go ahead, buy one or two or even five pairs of new shoes, because why not? But don’t you dare think about wearing brand new shoes on race day. Unless you like having blisters and uncomfortable foot pains, then that’s your own call.
When it comes to training, every athlete is different, therefor your training plan should differ from others. Do you best to realize that and don’t adjust your training just to impress others. Neither should you adjust your race plan when you hear about what others goals/intentions are for race day. And if you hear about an athlete doing a long run the day before a race, ignore them and do not follow in their steps. They’ll likely be following in your steps the next day.
During your training, you should be visualizing yourself on race day and practicing your warmup routine before workouts. When race day comes around, make sure you don’t skip your warmup and give yourself plenty of time to do so, so you’re not rushed. Race day is nerve-racking; going through your pre-race routine will help ease that and improve your state of mind.
Ultimately, the final week of training before a race can be stressful as the mind wanders and you develop unneeded nerves. Do your best to prepare for every outcome well in advance, don’t sweat the small stuff, be confident that your training has set you up to succeed, be headstrong in your own abilities and own your race.