While I’m not superstitious, I do observe a comfortable routine the week leading up to a race or event that I feel gives me confidence and helps me perform my best. Rituals and routines give us a mental framework to prepare for events, and healthy preparation ensures that our body is primed to perform. As many of my running partners are racing this weekend, I thought I would post my comforting rituals. Whether I’m running close to home or traveling to a destination race, I try to follow the following routine:
1. No alcohol the week before a race. I enjoy a good glass of wine with dinner, and avoid drinking excessively as it is, however the week before a race I abstain from drinking. This is in effort to maintain hydration, and get adequate sleep.
2. Avocado Sushi Rolls for dinner the night before the race. This is a light comfort food, non-greasy, easy to find in most cities, and gluten and caisen free. I love it. I can’t tell you how many friends try to carb-load the night before the race and end up cramping up with stomachaches during the race. True carb-loading is quite the scientific process, and the original method entailed completely depleting your carbohydrate stores, and then loading up substantially approximately 72 hours before competition. The method has been modified due to recent studies in Australia to bypass the depletion phase and begin with carb loading (70% of caloric intake) 72 hours before competition. The key here is to include your heavier grain meals three days before and not the night before.
3. 45 Minute walk in a relaxing environment the night before. This serves both a physical and psychological purpose. I get to stretch my legs a bit, get the blood moving, and enjoy my surroundings.
4. I only race in shirts that my husband gave me as gifts. Ok I guess I am a little superstitious. My husband usually gives me new running clothing for birthdays and holidays, and he has good taste. They are tried and true, the annoying tags are removed, and there is nothing on them that rubs or otherwise annoys me. My favorites are Nike and UnderArmour:
5. My favorite Gluten Free Dairy Free Energy Bars for Breakfast. Clean energy that does not upset my stomach, these are also a comfort food. My recipe is based on the great Scott Jurek’s Chocolate Adzuki bars, and can be found on my prior post:
What works best for you? How do you stay relaxed, or prepared?
Find your own rhythm, and stick to it, it will serve you well!
Make your day great!