With anticipation and nerves building up days to a race, there are many things to think about. The week before a big race can be crucial depending on length of race and intensity, training, nutrition, hydration and rest are all very important. I am going to keep this very basic and easy to understand.
For weeks even months up to race day you have been training long and hard. The week before the race is used for tapering and recovery. This week should be lower intensity and giving you opportunity to rest and repair, preparing your body for the big day! Try avoiding heavy lifting a few days before so you are not sore day of race. Moderate to low intensity cardio such as cycle and yoga are great the last few days before the race.
Cramping is the last thing you are going to want during a big race, and a lot of that has to do with hydration. If you aren't a huge water drinker, you may want to change that the week before the race. Keep your water intake up days coming up to the race and especially the last two days. Some electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade and Pedialyte are great to have day before and day of. But make sure you keep H2O intake up! Salt, GU and other performance supplements maybe used, but don't use anything new day of race. Your body may not like whatever it is you try.
Sleep is very important. Period. Your body needs time to recover and heal. Try and get at least 6-8 hours a night and even 10 for those who train hard. This goes for all year long, not just week before race. Night before race day can be hard to sleep because of nerves and excitement but try and get some ZZZZ's!
Maintaining proper nutrition habits is key to performance and overall health. Days up to the race are important, especially if you are doing a longer distance race. Keep your body fueled with good slow digesting carbs, veggies, good fats and lean protein. Two to three days before the race begin increasing your carbohydrate intake and especially day before. Race day morning can be a little tricky depending on start time. If later start time, stick with your normal breakfast but increase your carbohydrates and drink plenty of water. About an hour before race have faster digesting carbohydrates such as fruit.(Flattened banana from Trader Joe's is my favorite). WIth the early start times you don't want to eat too much before the race. So if you want to wake up at three in the morning, more power to ya! I personally will increase carb intake night before and keep breakfast lighter and faster digesting carbs closer to start time. Most of all….DO NOT try something new day before or race day. You have no idea how your body may react to certain food. The last thing you are going to want is some stomach issues during the race!
I hope this helps you out with any concerns or questions you may have had.
If you have any questions on meal ideas, examples of Macros or anything else feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org