Groovin’ The Pre-Race Groove

I absolutely love the week before a race. Aside from the tapering woes I described here, of course. This week in particular was a whole lot of fun, as I took a bit of a “sport first, all-else second” approach.

This week was, of course, a surprise pre-race week, as it was only last Saturday that I changed my plans and decided to race at Guelph Lake II. I did a hard brick workout Saturday, changed my plans to incorporate the final two sprint races, and immediately launched into pre-race prep and tapering.

This also meant scheduling a few extra appointments I’d otherwise have waited on — namely lining up for cancellation slots at the massage clinic (fighting for time with the very popular Patrick Stiles, RMT) and with the pedorthist for another orthotics adjustment. Physio was already booked, thankfully!

This week has without a doubt been all about athletic wellness:

  • Saturday: 5/32/3km run-bike-run brick
  • Sunday: Rest (2x dog walks)
  • Monday: Drop off bike for badly needed tune-up and new tires; noon go for physio on foot; evening 60 minutes weights/gym, then 50 minutes hockey
  • Tuesday: Orthotics adjustment, rest (1x dog walk)
  • Wednesday: Morning 7km run; after work pick up bike at shop, get skates sharpened, then to sports massage clinic for 1 hour massage entirely on legs (make that 75% right leg, 25% left leg)
  • Thursday: Lunchtime 25km bike ride (to beat the forecast t-storms after work!); evening light stretching & core work, install new cleats on bike shoes
  • Friday: Rest (longer dog walk to stay limber); pack race bag, prep bike.

A guy could really get used to this. Too bad I have to work all these hours in between.

I’m a little low on volume this week, at just under 4 hours instead of a typical 4.5 for a taper week, but my legs were really cranky earlier this week, and I’m not sure I’ll benefit from more time on the road — whereas I know I’ll benefit from the rest.  As I posted on Facebook this week, a person can’t make themselves faster or fitter the week before the race — but with stupidity, they can certainly make themselves slower.

As of this very moment, the best I can do between now and Saturday morning is eat my carbs, hydrate well (it’s going to be stinking hot Saturday morning), and try not to catch the cold circulating around my office.

Team McKnapp has a nice routine going in pre-race weeks, so far as nutrition and schedule priorities. It’s kind of fun to just get into that groove. I know the race route well, I know my fitness is there for the distance, and if I can go into this with the right level of confidence, I ought to be able to put on a good race. I’m looking to beat my time from last year — conditions permitting — by a few minutes.

Post race, Sunday will bring a day of resting up, then I’ll do some light strength and lots of stretching on the holiday Monday. Tuesday morning starts with another massage, and Wednesday brings physio. The workouts will fit in between.

I have never before raced back-to-back weeks. I think it’s actually really logical to do it, though, at least at sprint distances. Take the need to taper and the need to recover and do an overlay, and your week looks very similar either way. Why not combine them?

(The answer to that may become painfully obvious — watch for more next week!)

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