One of the things many athletes dread and can get into trouble with is tapering before races so I have found some great tools to help you make the process less torturous.
The key is to distract yourself from thinking about the race, tapering, and the preparation process in general.
As a first step, start scheduling plenty of other. Before a race is the time where you can actually hang out with your friends (when they’ve asked you so many times to go out at night and you’ve turned them down due to training plans the next morning.) Go grab some coffee or lunch with them and catch up on everything going on in your lives.
Step two is to go see a movie or watch movies at home. Catch up on the latest season of television. This is actually one instance where binge watching is encouraged. I also enjoy diving into a good book. Just make sure you get a captivating book that can keep your mind occupied. One benefit of these types of activities is that while you’re enjoying these diversions you can also keep your legs elevated or use the latest recovery tools like electro stim or ice compression.
Step three is to cultivate your creative side. Divert your mind and energies to whatever creative endeavors you enjoy whether it’s playing a musical instrument, listening to music, writing or journaling, painting or drawing, or sculpting clay. All of these activities are excellent pre-race preparation because they require total attention and require you to be fully creative/present in the moment.
The pre-race period is also the time to go to the store and purchase all the supplies necessary. Stocking up on supplies will also take up extra time that you now have since you’re not training.
Number four is to get a massage or do your own self massage with a foam roller or lacrosse ball. Just make sure not to go too deep and causes more soreness. You can get plenty of nice soft massages to relax your body and mind before your big event.
And finally number five is to catch up on that thing you’ve been needing to do all year. You know that one thing on your to do list that just keeps getting pushed out all the time. Well, now is the time to finally scratch it off the list. So, maybe it’s cleaning your house or organizing your closet. Or, maybe it’s cleaning up all the files on your computer or organizing all of your photos. Before my last race I actually got all of my taxes and financial budgeting organized and calculated in one neat file.
You’ll be surprised how great it feels to finally get that one thing that’s been haunting you off of your list.
So, those are just five of my top pre-race helpful hints. Anything that gets your mind off of your pre-race anxiety and lingering desire to train will end up being the best investment in pre-race preparation.
Ideally, you want to do tasks that will still make you feel accomplished while not overexerting yourself.