It's less than a week before my first race of the season. How am I prepping for my obstacle racing season? Not in the conventional way at all, but with a 30 mile ultra marathon. I am running one of the harder ultras in the country, which will include bushwhacking through the woods of Vermont, and tens of thousands of feet of vertical gain and loss. At this point less than a week out your foundation is set. You can't build endurance to help you through the race now but a few key things can be done in the final days to prepare. One of the easiest is hydration.
This is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for your body before a race. I practice this technique before Obstacle Races as well as other endurance endeavors. My goal each day five days before a race is to drink AT LEAST one gallon of water a day. My personal goal is two gallons. Setting the goal is easy practicing it a little harder.
My best advice is to each morning will up a gallon jug. If you are comfortable with carrying it around all day do so. If not my suggestion is carry a 20oz water bottle around and keep the jug in the refrigerator. Each time you empty your water bottle fill it back up with refreshing cool water. Sip on the water all day long, don't chug a lug it down like it's the last water in the world. Sipping with keep you constantly hydrated throughout the day. I try to finish the first gallon before lunch and the second gets me through the afternoon.
Leading up to an event, also cut out those sugary drinks at least a week out as well leave the booze for after the race is over. Or take the challenge and shelf that stuff all together. It's amazing how you feel after a week or so. Put those drinks over in the special occasion category. You will be amazed how you feel after a race season without alcohol.
Keeping these tips in mind you will show up on race day hydrated, well rested, and feeling good, ready to take on any obstacle or course in front of you. It's great once you get on the hydration kick you won't want to leave it. Next week, how to recover after running for a couple hours, well maybe more than a couple. Wish me luck this weekend, it's time to step up to the starting line!