Preparation for a kayaking race

This is what you need to know that you should do before a race.


#1: Don't do anything new.

Race day is not the time for new shoes, new food or drinks, new clothing, or anything else you haven't done on several training runs. Stick with a routine that works for you. "I learned the hard way that when you try something new on race day, you often end up regretting it," says Russ Pate, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and qualified for three U.S. Marathon Trials in '72, '76, and '80. "I eventually developed a routine that I followed ritualistically before all my races."

#2: Eat first thing.

Too many marathoners skip breakfast on race day, opting for just a cup of coffee and/or some sports drink. You need more than that. "From the time you go to bed until the start of the race is usually eight to 10 hours," says Ken Sparks, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and ran a personal best 2:28 at age 46. "In that time, your liver glycogen — which is stored carbohydrate — gets depleted. If you don't have a simple, high-carb breakfast, you're going to be in trouble at 20 miles." Bananas, bagels, or energy bars are good picks.

#3: Have adequate rest

Stop trainings at least 2 days before the race to give your body ample time to recover and recharge to the maximise condition prior to the race. Having sufficient try also means less sign of fatigue and anxiety or stress, allowing the body to perform best at its peak performances.

#4: Low Carb Myth

Forget the low carbo and high protein diet. We are not training for muscle building here. We need carbs to give us the energy boost we need in a race. A protein based diet may not provide you enough energy and energy from protein based diet are usually deprived from the fats content. (For example, chicken steak).

There are bad and good carbs.

Examples of good carbs food:

  • Potatoes (boiled)
  • Bananas
  • Rice

Bad carbs are (complex sugar):

  • Sweets
  • Soft drinks

#5: Water for thought

Replenish your body fluid the night before you head to bed. Drink plenty of water before you sleep will equip your body with sufficient fluid for your body to perform at its maximum hydrated state. 2-3 hours before the start of the race, hydrate yourself further with diluted sports drink (30% sports drink, 70% water). The reason for the diluting of sports drinks is such that, most sports drink contain high sugar content which are meant to deliver quick energy but often these drinks will end up causing you to be even more thirsty. You may end up drinking more and get yourself bloated. Good minerals to take note off are sodium & potassium. You can actually purchase powdered form of sports drink off convenient stores and mix your own diluted cocktail!

#6: Vitamins. Not needed?

False. Vitamins helps to the body in good condition. Vitamins like C & E are anti-oxidants. They not only help in repairing body tissues but induces good effects too. As we do sports, we take in more oxygen, and oxygen creates oxidant in our body which harms our body over time (effects are damaging of cells resulting in aging) maybe some sign could be seen in hardcore sportsman, when they show signs of slight aging even in their early age. This anti-oxidants prevent them all. For me, i always bring a bottle of vitamin C supplement with me all the time. One tablet after every training. Fruit-juice is also another source of vitamins too.

#7: Caffeine for endurance?

Caffeine helps to keep the body at the state of the mind, being alertness and delaying exhaustion to increase your physical endurance over a prolong period of time depending on dosage. Some fuel food or sports drink comes in 50-100mg of caffeine. However one must not exceed 300mg in a day. I would not recommend caffeine use in speed trainings or races unless it last more than 15-20mins. Caffeine is use for prolong trainings or races such as endurances training & marathon races.