So race week is upon us and for all my athletes the first thing they will notice is that they will see that we keep training quite similar to that they have been used to. There is no massive taper for the athletes; yes we reduce the volume and for some we keep a bit of intensity but overall we keep a nice consistent training rhythm going. As an athlete you aren't going to get fitter in these last few days but you also won't lose a lot of fitness so don't stress it if life takes over; after all you probably will have some travelling to do and prep for the races. If you have raced before you'll know there is a lot of pre race posturing that goes on, particularly in triathlon, but this counts for nothing when the gun goes off. As a Brit everyone else always seems to look better tanned, have better shaved legs, look more muscular, more lean, have better kit a better bike etc etc but this counts for nothing so don't let it affect you. However staying out of this environment is always worth while. I'd advise spending as little time around others that are racing as you can. Go and register, go to the race brief and check out the course as required and for triathlon the flow through transitions and all aspects you need to know but do all of that efficiently. I like to wear my iPod just to keep myself in my own world. You've been there though you know the routine and how to race but any physical or mental energy you can save here all helps.
As the training load is slightly lower than normal there is no real need to carbo load as you are not burning the calories as normal. Hence with your usual calorie intake from foods you in effect will already be loading up. I always advise athletes to miss any pre race pasta party - no need to go wild at the buffet!
During the race itself concentrate on the process and not the outcome. Try and quieten your mind and never give up. Just be the best YOU can be on race day.
Keep your mind still and just keep working mile after mile. Break the event down and don't let the totality of it overwhelm you; so in a run think of it as 5ks or 10k or look to the next aid station but don't concern yourself with mile 20 while you are still at mile 10. Lastly good luck; we all need it. Concentrate on the process and most of all enjoy the race!