Posted on June 06 2018
The day has come that you have been training for. The nerves, excitement or self-doubt might be kicking in about now.
After months of preparations, months of visualising yourself winning it’s now your time to stand up tall have some self-belief, ensure your mind and body is in the right place on the day to perform at your best.
I’ve prepared a few key areas you need to take care of race day.
1 - Prime the engine
Unlock your body, you know how your body works and how it responds. This might mean morning yoga is the first on the list of things to do (remember yoga is a great chance for you to focus on connecting with your body and mind) followed by some light plyometrics in combination with some rolling PRIMER sprints.
BUT now isn’t the time to change it up or especially skip your usual routines due to nerves locking you up. You know what works and WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD!
KP Performance recommended engine unlock:
3 hours before racing:
- 5-20min yoga (moving circuit)
2 hours before racing:
- 5-10min low intensity pedalling (headphones on to music that makes you feel good).
- 5min dynamic warm up (start general mobility then ensure you tick off the areas you have tightness e. hips, hamstrings, back).
- Plyometric primer: 5sec each single leg forward and backward hops- rest 30sec 5sec each single leg side to side hops- rest 30sec- 3sec fast feet + double leg jump x3- rest 60sec- 5 each side alternating split squat jump- rest 60sec- 3each side single leg drop and stick.
- Primer sprints: 3x block start on flat ground (10-20-30m) rest 90sec between each. 3x downhill sprint 20m-roll 10m-sprint 10m- Rolling in at 30%-40%-50%- rest 90sec between each.
1 hour before Racing:
Practice, ensure you understand what you’re trying to achieve from practice by setting a plan. Keep in mind you practice plan should be low in volume and high in intensity, should cover multiple lines on the track and ideally with a partner. Ensure recovery ride 5-10min after practice.
15min before racing:
Select a plyometric that makes you feel good (3-5reps) with a rolling (30-50%) acceleration sprint effort eg. 20m-roll 10m sprint 10m.
2 - Fuel the engine:
Often over looked but often the answer to under-performing or lack of focus come finals time when you want and need to be at your best. It’s important not to try foods you haven’t before on race day.
KP Performance recommended fuel:
- Re-establish normal body fluids post sleep/ tall glass of water.
- Fruits low in fibre with Eggs or for those or can’t eat race day try a protein/fruit smoothie (not heavy in the gut)
10 minutes before racing:
- 100-200cal from sports drink or gel followed by 200ml of water
- Sip on protein shake or sports drink and keep fluids up, try not to eat dense foods when the body is focusing on recovery and cooling the body down not digesting food, it will sit in your guts!
- Don’t over do it! No more than 200mg first intake and 100mg top up after moto’s if needed (you know your body).
3 - Program the engine:
Ok now it’s time to get to the stuff that will determine whether you unleash your potential or fall short. I’ve prepared a few key points to ensure you stay connected with the here and now and don’t wonder off into the ‘what ifs’ and the uncontrollable.
KP Performance race day guide:
Step 1: Breathe in the good and breathe out the bullshit. When you’re going through your morning yoga, a great opportunity to focus on the positives and removing all the negatives or weaknesses you have (everyone has weaknesses or work on’s but now’s not the time to put energy into them, it’s time to put your energy it’s the positive and what you’re good at!)
Step 2: Write down what makes you happy, your focus for the day, your strengths and pre-gate routine. (you will feel good writing these!)
Step 3: Connect with a word or short phrase that brings you back to focusing on what’s going to mean you unleashing or not. This should be as simple as a word on your numberplate or crossbar and its always going to be about how you attack the start of the race (gate) which is the most important part. Some examples or words that may help. Flow like water (for those that need to stay relaxed and not rush), patience, 70%-80%-90%-110%, be the lion. I suggest connecting with a word that makes you relaxed and focused not hyped up and angry, you will always perform your best when you are happy and enjoying what your doing so just ensuring you focus on what you need to and remove the distraction and stress.
Step 4: If you’re having a shit day and struggling to turn it around, get the pen and paper out draw a big circle and write down inside the circle what you can control and write outside the circle what you cant. Also read what you wrote down in the morning.
4 - Parents/support:
Have a child competing or supporting someone who is? It’s important to understand what to say and when or maybe it’s more a case of what not to say.
I’m sure this won’t be the first event together and you will understand from their actions where they’re at mentally.
From my experience it’s important that your own emotions don’t affect the rider your supporting! Even if your excited don’t overdo it with your rider and at the same time if you stress easy maybe it’s best to stay away on race day and let someone else natural handle the athlete competing.
Nothing worse than feeling pressure then coming back and seeing your main supporters are also stressing out, doesn’t give you the best confidence boost or keep you relaxed.
Remember if the goal is to unleash your potential then stick to your routines, stay relaxed, enjoy the day, enjoy the challenges and breathe you got this!