Traveling with Alexandra for sports has become a normal part of what we do. But traveling for meets comes with its challenges. You’re not sleeping in your own bed, cooking in your own kitchen, or competing in a familiar space. So we use this 5 step race day prep routine that you can do anywhere.
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Race Day Prep: Dinner
I don’t know if you truly are what you eat, but what you eat definitely impacts how you perform. We choose light, easy to digest foods the night before a race. And even though she’s not an endurance runner, we do carb load for the days she has to run the 400m. One of her go-to meals of choice is the Chicken Tortellini Alfredo from Panera Bread. Even better, it fits in our $10 per person budget for eating out when we travel.
Race Day Prep: Recovery
After a long day on the road – in the car or on an airplane – muscles can get sore and joints can get stiff. Making sure your athlete’s body is ready for competition is important. Yes, they’re young and have a ton of energy, but all muscles build lactic acid and all bodies get sore.
Recovering Alexandra’s body is a two-part process: an ice bath and massage. The ice bath helps to reduce swelling, flush lactic acid, and repair any micro muscle injuries. The massage helps loosen muscle tissue and relax her body in preparation a good night’s sleep. One of our favorite massage oils is the Muscle Soothe Blend from Rocky Mountain Oils.
Race Day Prep: Rest
Sleep is the best medicine on earth. Obviously, we sleep every night, whether we’re prepping for a race or not. But when we travel and stay in a hotel getting good sleep can be difficult. So we use lavender essential oil to help her relax and a sleep mask to keep the light out.
Race Day Prep: Flexibility
Recovering muscles and joints is necessary, but it won’t directly increase flexibility. Stretching is a regular part of Alexandra’s warm-up routine. What we have found to be even more effective is using her body weight and foam muscles rollers to pre-condition her muscles on races days. It helps increase blood flow to the muscle which improves flexibility.
Race Day Prep: Warm Up
You know how you have to let your car engine warm up before you drive it? The same thing is true with your body. We never hit the track without 20 to 45 minutes of warm-up drills. Drills aren’t just for practice.
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Going to meets in more competitive states is a commitment we’ve made for her development. She’s a youth runner in a state known far more for basketball than track. Even though Tyson Gay is originally from here and more than on Olympian ran for college here. This 5 step race day prep routine has been what we’ve used since Harold became #CoachDaddy and took over Alexandra’s training.
How do you prepare your athlete for competition?