Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Race Preparation

Marcus and Agata are just preparing for another race.  Now this is something we have done over 100 times,  so first the Philosophy

Why Race
You can of course just go out into the countryside/town/other and perform your activity or exercise.  Perhaps a joint meeting with friends such as our group cycle this Saturday.   But entering a competition may have some advantages

- If you do well there may be a prize
- If you do really well Photographs, recognition and fame :-)
- It is a chance for you to compete, not just plod along and measure your performance against that of others
- In a group ones competitive instinct usually surfaces and this is normally a great motivating factor, spurring you on to a faster time
- Race vs plodding expends more calories, and you know what this means :-) yes it means a bigger Dinner afterwards
- On some longer races you may be able to strike up conversations with fellow competitors, it's actually a great way to meet people with similar sporting interests.  If you are single you may meet your future partner there.

Being quite lazy we try to enter competitions that are less than 2 hours drive away,  because if longer we would endeavour to pack the Motorhome and arrive to the race a night before.  That's a much bigger undertaking.

As I write this we are only driving our Motorhome so Race logistics now includes finding parking before the race in a carpark that has no height restrictions.  Our Motorhome is a low 2.62 metres tall but most carparks have a 2.1m metre barrier or lower.  Today in 2018 it is Google Maps that can usually provide the answer ahead of time.  It is quite literally a lifesaver

Setting Out
This is the process of getting absolutely everything ready the night before.  It includes 

The Weather

Is it going to be dry, because for our March/Run this will determine clothing to take e.g. raincoat and type of shoes e.g. road, trail, waterproof trail.  Get it ready the night before and set it out.

Apparently it's 80% likely to be dry so my lightweight road/ light Salomon Sonic Pro shoes should work out

What to pack if anything?  Our event will have some timing stops but we know there will be no food and with (say) a 6 hour completion time we want to take some basic Calorie laden Gels and Bars so that we don't begin to flag.

Also based on the temperature and distance between stops we'll take fluids too.  Of course 1Kg of fluid is a Kilogramme so we have to judge just what is needed for this weather and exercise type.  I reckon on 500ml to get us between stops.

We are not at home but travelling so things are less than ideal.  Indeed we don't have actually the right gels or Energy powders to dilute.  So we will just have to make do.  (Marcus raided his bicycle and found a gel, these are the sort of compromises you make when on the road or staying away from home).  Since this is Switzerland and we run on Sunday there is no chance of any shop being open far less of one selling sports nutrition!

The race is too long to listen to music from our Smartphones.  We tactfully agreed:  we are going to have to talk to each other!

We are taking 2 Smartphones for emergency communication to the outside world, plus the event is listed on Facebook, so if we don't finish or are mysteriously abducted, people know where to look.

Breakfast is put out.  It is going to be Porridge + Honey + Cinamon + Milk + Chia seeds.   Delicious.  Preparation time about 3 minutes.

We make a recovery bag.  This is something post race that will help us get home in the most of comfort.  It includes a plastic bag to dump our wet and sweaty clothes into, a complete spare change of clothes,  and a recovery powder / water canister

And Finally
When all is done there is just time to set the 2 Independent alarms  (paranoia) and then ......

The Early Night to Bed
Of course this never happens.  It is past 2am in the morning as I write this and I have to get up at 06.00.  Still the (ex busy) life as IT consultants has programmed Marcus at least to function with sporadic sleep and naps.  I'll make it up post race :-)