You have trained long and hard for your upcoming long-distance event. As the big day approaches, there are a few things you can do to help ease your pre-race stress. The less "logistical-stuff" that you have to worry about once you arrive at your race destination, the more you can rest and relax prior to the race.
Give yourself about two weeks prior to race day to complete the following tasks. This will help ease your mind and allow you to more effectively focus your energy on your race-day effort.
1) Get your bike tuned. Be sure to check the tires, tubes, cables, chain, brake pads and bolts. Allow enough time for one training ride following the tune to make sure everything is working properly.
More: How to Prep Your Bike for Race Day
2) Stock up on race-day nutrition. Be sure to check your stock of fuel and order more if necessary.
3) Do a few trial runs in your race-day gear. Wear your wet suit or speed suit if you will be using one on race-day, load your bike as it will be loaded during the event, and run using your race socks and shoes.
4) Make a packing list. This list will make your life so much easier when it comes time to pack.
5) Get a massage. A massage gives your body and mind the chance to decompress after the months of training and planning.
6) Write out your race-day plan and mentally rehearse it. Be as detailed as possible including things like what time you’ll wake up, what you’ll eat for breakfast, what your transitions will look like and when you plan to eat/drink on the course.
7) Make gear lists. Include one for your transitions (both swim-to-bike and bike-to-run) and special needs bags for the bike and run. (See sample lists on page 2.)
8) Make a dinner reservation for your pre-race meal. If you do not plan to eat out, either stock up on the ingredients you’ll need to cook at home or make a list of what you'll need to cook in your rental unit.
More: Your Most Important Pre-Race Meal
9) Print out and review the race’s athlete guide. This is important for avoiding surprises on race day and on the race course.
10) REST. All of the training is done. Workouts during these two weeks will not make your race, but they can break it if they are too long, too intense or forced if you are too tired.
The key is to make the lead-up to your race as stress-free as possible. These tips will help you gain a greater sense of calm so that your energy can be directed to more important things…like having your best long-distance race ever.
More: The Art of the Ironman Taper