IRONMAN ARIZONA PRE-RACE TIPS
Timing your meals the day prior so you arrive at the start line with a FULL TANK of fuel
DINNER: Dinner before your race should be about 12 hours PRIOR to waking up on race morning. This means if you’re waking up at 4:30am, try to eat around 4:30-5:30pm the night before. Why? You’ll be giving your body plenty of time to digest the meal and go to the bathroom before the race start. Eat a normal meal that has foods you are familiar with. NO NEW SURPRISES for dinner! Then just snack until you go to bed.
LUNCH & BREAKFAST: Time these meals off of when you’ll be eating dinner. DON’T overeat – no need to!
HYDRATION: Ensure you’re taking in fluids ALL DAY that contain some electrolytes. Lower calorie sports drinks or even electrolytes tabs you can drop in a water bottle work the best. If it’s forecasted to be HOT and/or you’re a heavy sweater, consider taking more than normal and salting your food.
BREAKFAST: Something light and something you like! Snack with a sports drink leading up to the race. Our goal is to top off our glycogen stores but to NOT feel bloated or “stuffed”.
Training the RIGHT way leading into the last few days of the race so you don’t go into race day EXHAUSTED
Training on-site of an IRONMAN® course within a few days of the race can be confusing and exhausting. We don’t want either! If in doubt, shorten or skip the session. Here are some recommendations:
3 Days out:
If you’re arriving this day, at the minimum, get in a light shakeout run or run/walk. Expect to feel sluggish and tired as you’ve just traveled – that’s OK! If you have time or have arrived earlier, put your bike together (or pick it up) and get a short ride in to ensure it’s working and ready to go. Finally, if the water is open and swimmable, get in for a light swim! In summary, if possible, get all three sports in and with a combined total time of under 1.5 hours.
2 Days out:
If you were able to get in all three sports the day prior, this day is your pre-race DAY OFF. Yes, don’t do any training. Instead, check-in, explore the Ironman Village, learn where the swim entry/exit, bike exit and re-entry and run exit. Sit in on a race briefing. In other words, do ALL your reconnaissance, shopping and learning during THIS day. If you weren’t able to get any training in prior to this day, do it this day, but keep all combined training under 1 hour.
1 Day out:
Plan to be on your feet as LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Get a short swim in (preferably on the course), a short bike (with all required stickers and numbers attached) and a short brick (run off bike) that includes race belt, hydration or fuel you’re planning on carrying, etc. In other words, have everything ready to race and practice! Then check your bike in. Plan all of this around when you want to check your bike into transition. Once done, get out of the sun and indoors and put your feet up!
Focusing on getting COMPLETE nights of sleep during the week to fully optimize your energy systems on race morning
Sleeping the night before a race is hard for everyone. Don’t expect to sleep that well or that long. That’s OK if you can focus on the following: get a good night’s sleep 2, 3 and 4 days prior! If you can get good sleep 2 out of these 3 nights, you’ll be just fine on race day, even with a not-so-good pre-race night’s sleep.
To ensure you are sleeping well on those nights, your bedroom should be cool, there should be minimal or no light and there should be no noise. Use an eye mask and earplugs if you have to. If you’d like to try and wake up around the time you’ll be waking up race morning, go for it ONLY if you still get enough hours of sleep. If not, don’t change your bedtime and wakeup times from normal.
“Seeing” your race before it happens and program your mind for max ENJOYMENT and SUCCESS
As soon as you get to the venue, start “seeing” yourself racing and running across that finish line. Go down to the swim and see yourself starting and then coming out of the swim. If you drive the course or bike any portion of the course, imagine yourself racing your race on race day. Go to the finish line and walk across it with your arms held high over your head and imagine hearing your name called out, “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”!
You can never start too early in the season using positive imagery. But for those racing the course for the first time, “seeing” it in person and imagining yourself having the race you expect is a powerful process that will contribute to the successful execution of your race.
Remember, when the race organizers put those course buoys in the water, it ALWAYS looks longer than you think it should! And when you drive the course, those “hills” always look bigger than you imagined. In both cases, they aren’t!
COME MEET US! We'll have a hanfull of Team MPI Coaches answering your race questions!
WHEN: Saturday 9am
WHERE: Swim Start
(look for Team MPI wind feather!)
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And at ANY TIME you'd like to connect with me to learn more, email me! mark@teamMPI.com