In summer, many people consider doing their very first 5K run, organized bike ride or race, swimming event and more. Unfortunately, people often sabotage themselves leading up to race day without even knowing it.
Don't throw all that training out the window at the last minute. Here are some guidelines to help you successfully participate in any type of race or organized event:
Know the course: Most organized races and outdoor events come with a small map of the course. Review it beforehand so you know what to expect and where to go.
Take it easy: The week of the race many people decide to "test" themselves to see if they can complete the distance or maintain the desired effort of their targeted race. This leaves them completely drained on race day. Dial back your workouts leading up to your race to allow your body to recover so you will have the ability to fully perform on race day.
But not too easy: Many people don't do any training at all and this can leave them feeling sluggish or "off" during their desired event. Keep your body primed and ready to go, but, again, dial back the effort and duration of your workouts.
Prepare your gear: Lay out or pack everything you will need for your event the night before. This will save you a tremendous amount of time on the morning of the event. Use a checklist and save the stress for the event itself.
Be early: Another source of stress on the day of the event is getting where you need to be on time. Plan for plenty of time to find a parking space, properly warm up, and get to the starting line. It is always better to be early rather than late.
Nothing new: The day of the event is never the time to try out that new sports drink a friend recommended or a new exotic meal for breakfast. Consume things you have regularly tried throughout your training program. Nothing sabotages an event faster than stomach issues. The added mental stress of race morning can make your stomach particularly sensitive to unfamiliar foods or drinks.