By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador
So here I am, Friday morning, two days out from race day. I will be racing in the San Diego International Triathlon -and it's on Sunday. The miles have been logged, the ice baths endured, the neapolitan tan fashionably sported (neapolitan tan is what happens when you wear 2-3 different length bike shorts on separate rides and wind up with a progressive tan up your thigh- hot) and now it’s time to think about my pre-race routine. Every athlete takes a different approach to the pre-race routine; and some can take years refining what works best for them. And just as I tell every friend venturing into their first competitive race, I will once again emphasize that what “works best” is different for everyone. I have a good friend who literally eats a pint of Hagen Daz the night before her longer distance races. Now me personally, even if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, that much dairy pre-race would probably have me spending more time in the porta potty than on the road. But I digress...
My pre-race routine typically starts two days before a race. I start to taper my workout routine and spend some extra time using my foam roller and stick to working out my tight muscles. I personally do not like to work out the day before a race aside from some active stretching; and I will do a short, easy run and bike two days out.
For nutrition I start making sure I’m drinking more fluids than usual two days out. When I first started racing, I wasn’t very good at monitoring how much I was drinking. I would count out how many 12oz water bottles I wanted to drink throughout the day and take them to work with me to make sure I drank them all. Now that I’ve gotten better, I can be greener and continually fill up my water bottle at work and add my only electrolyte replacement drink, Vitalyte, which is conveniently stored in my drawer. After competing in a good amount of half marathons and triathlons I noticed two post-race symptoms that I consistently experience. I either get a splitting headache (alluding to dehydration) or my stomach would get the gurgles and I would be running to the bathroom the rest of the day (meaning I didn’t have enough sodium to retain the water I was drinking, and instead the water was flushing out of me). I have practiced Bikram yoga for 4 years, so I sweat A LOT while exercising. So I need to remember that because I sweat more, I need to replenish more. You don’t just lose water when you sweat, so why would you only replenish with water? Drinking Vitalyte before a race has really helped me in two ways – 1) It tastes great so it’s easier to drink my goal amount of fluids, and 2) it provides the perfect amount of minerals and sodium so I’m not suffering after a race.
And with that (raising my Fruit Punch Vitalyte filled water bottle) here is to race day; I’ll let you know how it goes!