It's just about the time of year again where the obstacle course racing industry starts to gear up for the championship season. Whether it be the Spartan Race World Championships, OCR World Championships, World's Toughest Mudder, or other National Championship race there are a few things to do in the weeks leading up to the big races that will help make race day more enjoyable.
The week leading up to the race, hydration is a key factor of success on race day. Even with the fall temperatures keeping race day temps normally in the 60s it's important to hydrate throughout the week. Start in the morning with a gallon of water, then sip on that gallon throughout the day to make sure you are fully hydrated for race day.
Sorting out your gear for race day is important to do ahead of time. Set a list of the things you think you will need, then set out that gear on the floor in your house a day or two before traveling to the race. Having a few extra days will make sure you don't forget something like socks on race day. Depending on the championship be prepared for some amount of water. If you are looking towards World's Toughest Mudder think about taking your wetsuit for a swim in a cold lake or pond.
When it comes to championship time, you don't want to mess around with nutrition. Every participant should carry the nutrition that works best for them on the course. Be sure to pick up a few of your favorites and know you will need about 100-200 calories an hour racing depending on the championship.
Taking on the World Championship season can be a huge undertaking even for an experienced obstacle racer. It is normal to have some butterflies in the stomach going into a championship race. These races take you over the unknown and even year-to-year the courses can greatly change. Take time the week before a championship race to do activities outside of obstacle racing; have dinner with friends, walk the dog, enjoy a sporting event. It's important to remain balanced going into a big race.
Take the week before to focus mentally on your strengths, take the time to focus on how you plan to attack the course and remember to smile while on course. A laugh can get anyone through a dark moment.
The week before a World Championship race is always a week of nervous energy online. The best course of action is to stay offline and not feed into the energy. Focus on you, yourself and your surroundings that week. Eat well, sleep lots, and as before hydrate! Getting caught up in the nervous energy can be a drain on your time and energy.
Use social media and all the online groups for help and support answering questions but don't get bogged down with what everyone else is doing, create your plan and make it best for you!