The dos and don'ts when preparing for a competition

Valentin Belz 20. September 2017

As your nervousness slowly but surely rises a few days before the race, many questions may arise: should I do this or is it better not to? These are the most important dos and don'ts.


  • Increase your recovery time and get more sleep
    Avoid stress and strenuous evening activities. Make extra sure that you are rested when you stand at the starting line by reserving time for daily micro-breaks and sleeping more than usual.

  • Fill up your reserves
    Make sure you have a full tank so you have enough energy to get to the finishing line. You can achieve this by somewhat increasing your carbohydrate and fluid intake in the last three days before the competition, without eliminating proteins and fats altogether.

  • Clarify the details
    Ensure the days before the race are stress-free by clarifying in advance whether you are on the starting list, when the race kicks off, how you will get there, and what food and drink is being offered, for example. Should you have problems with the food and drinks on offer, bring your favourite product with you to the race and test it once more during your preparation.

  • Study the altitude profile and adapt your training
    Look at the profile of your race beforehand and simulate the specific requirements during training. For example, run a long flat distance before you start climbing a mountain. Or incorporate steep downhill passages if this is also required in the race.

  • Run the competition route
    The more precisely you know every metre of the route, the better prepared you are for the race. It is therefore all the better if you have the possibility to run a section of the route prior to the event. 

  • Calculate a realistic finishing time and racing speed
    If you know how well you are able to perform, you can work out a realistic end time or select your racing pace accordingly. This will thus give you the assurance that you still have sufficient energy to get ahead in the second half and enjoy the race.

  • Keep an eye on the weather
    Adapt your equipment, the pace and sun protection to the conditions. To be on the safe side, it is worth making sure you are well equipped with additional layers of clothing, particularly in cold temperatures.

  • Think positive
    Positive thoughts have a huge impact. Take advantage of this by taking a positive attitude towards the race and banish any negative thoughts.


  • Take risks experimenting
    Only do what you have tried and tested in advance. This includes, for example, your nutrition for the competition or the use of newly purchased equipment.

  • Make up lost ground
    If you had too little time to train during the final few weeks and months, you should by no means try to make up this lost ground in the last few days before the race. Make sure instead that you start the race well rested.

  • Do any training you are not used to
    Avoid exercises and exertions that you are not used to and which would entail a longer period of regeneration. For example, decline the invitation to play squash or hump moving boxes in the week of the competition.

  • Do any sightseeing before the race
    Take it easy and relax instead of unnecessarily tiring yourself out by spending a long day on your feet. Postpone any sightseeing to the day after the race.

  • Starve yourself to get your ideal racing weight
    It’s quite evident that body weight plays a decisive role in performing successfully in a race. But if you starve yourself too much during the final weeks to achieve your desired weight, you will needlessly lose substance.