Saturday, 18 April 2009

Tuning up

As I start to focus down on the first race of the year, a nice little tune up race in Lisbon I have started to think about where there might be any little hidden benefits that might make me race quicker without expending more effort training.

Some new kit has been purchased including a new wetsuit, since my 4 yr old xterra suit now has more holes than augusta golf course. This I tried out yesterday and due to the upside down zip had to ask random bloke to secure me inside said suit. Once done I positively flew up and down the pool finishing my set with 10x100 coming in on 1.25 for EVERY length. I have also got some lovely new carbon easton attack aerobars which definitely make me feel quicker and some shiny new silver bike shoes (ditto).

Kit aside and without unearthing some magic new training programme, where are the other gains to be made. Certainly nutrition is a key factor as is getting adequate rest in the peak training stages. I am not sure what significant gains are to be had there but will continue to get to bed early and to take afternoon powernaps where possible. I have decided to use some torq recovery drinks for replenishing the energy stores after long/hard sessions (cheers stef)but again what are the margins for performance enhancement?

Perhaps one of the key factors to enhance race day performance is keeping calm in the build up and during the race itself. I guess some of this is a given in terms of your natural temperament and clearly some can be developed through practice races. I find the prerace build up can sometimes be like the period before an exam when fellow contestants boast either about how much or how little the have done and seek assurance from you that you have done more or less than they have. People who engage in this sort of stuff are often to be found doing one last "session" the day before the race and frankly good luck to them.

Having avoided other peoples' ego trips in general I love the prerace day or two as at is often the first time in several weeks I can be alone and can really turn off my brain and body (assuming my family are not with me). The luxury of an afternoon nap and time to read, fiddle with the bike, watch a few dvds is all part of my prerace taper. The other big step is building a positive state of mind. No matter what you have done up to the 2 days before raceday, a good or bad build up, the last 48 hrs are for being positive and developing a frame of mind to see you through to the finish line. Quite how you do this I guess is up to you. Personally I use a lot of positive mental imaging, and allow my own natural self assurance ;-) to build me up to the race.

So for the race I would like to see a sub 30 swim, a 2.25-2.30 bike and then I will aim to run 8 min miles and no faster (which should see me going gloriously backwards through the field). I have to remember this is a practice race and not the main event (which my take some in race discussion with my ego)


Tom said...

good luck mate, have a great race, t & h

Jevon said...

Wise words G. If ever there was a man for keeping laid back and relaxed, it's you... train smart rest well.