How to prepare for your race

Valentin Belz 25. April 2023

In the last few days before the day X, it is worth reducing your training.

Who hasn't experienced it: when the competition approaches, uncertainty and nervousness set in. Will I be able to do it? Have I trained enough? In the remaining one or two weeks before the race, people try to get the most out of it and make up for what they have missed. But this is usually counterproductive! What worked in school time with a special effort immediately before exams has the opposite effect before a race: the increase in volume and intensity leads to additional micro-injuries in the muscle tissue and exhaustion of the energy reserves. The result is a significantly worse competition result.

Tapering is the key to success

Instead of training more immediately before a race, it is important to reduce training in a targeted way. Tapering is the technical term for this and is aimed at building up physical and mental reserves for day X. Admittedly, it is often not easy to be reasonable with the race in mind. But one thing is certain: no one has ever been too well rested at the starting line. The opposite, on the other hand, has very often been the case.

Tips for the last weeks before the race

  • Keep in mind that grass doesn't grow faster when you pull on it. It simply takes time to grow. It is exactly the same with the training build-up. What you do today will only have an effect in 4-6 weeks.
  • Reduce the volume, but not the intensity. This way you can recover from the demanding preparation on one hand and maintain your fitness and speed hardness on the other.
  • The longer the distance and the more ambitious the goal, the more important tapering is.
  • You can keep your usual alternative training during the tapering phase. But of course, there is no point in filling the freed-up time with a new sport.
Foto: Zyablitskiy