How to Balance Race Week Preparations and Family

2 07 2011

By Maura VanBerkom

As a mom of three young boys, training for two sprint triathlons can be stressful on my family. I have to take time to train and balance my families schedule.

I find the most stressful time for most triathletes is the week of the race. In order to keep tension down, I try to limit disruption to our family schedule during my training; especially during the week of the event.

Here are five tips for you to make your final training week and race preparations as easy and stress-free as possible. You can get your family involved to make it a fun memory for everyone.

Equipment Preparations

Make sure to organize all of your equipment at least a week or two ahead of time; begin to pack your bag if you plan on taking one. This will help you to figure out what you have and what you still may need to get.

If you’re doing a triathlon, there are many websites that give you a list of suggested items to pack and gear preparations you may need to consider. By planning out what you need in advance, you will limit stress and ensure you get plenty of restful sleep the night before. Your family will thank you for that.

Unfortunately, for my first triathlon I waited until two days before to buy slicks for my mountain bike and had my husband up very late the night before helping me get my bike ready. It was stressful.

Know the Course

Make sure to review the course on the event’s website, especially if you’re traveling to the race. If your event is local, go the weekend beforehand with your family and explore the course. Take your bikes and ride part of it together, go for a light jog or walk around the area to ensure you are familiar with it. This will also help encourage family involvement.

If you are traveling, be sure to review the course map online. If time allows, explore the course the day before. Most events are well marked and have volunteers to help guide you; it is your responsibility to know the course.

Taper Down Your Training

The final week should be a fairly easy one because you now get to “taper-off.” If you followed a training program you should feel pretty confident that you would be ready for your event. You don’t want to train too hard and possibly jeopardize your performance on race day.

You shouldn’t take the week off either, but plan several days of lighter training, whether that is easy runs, a light swim, or a cycle class. Use the extra time on your lighter training days to enjoy extra time with your children.

Family Support

Get your family involved and excited about your event. By having their support, they will be able to understand all you have to do and might even offer to help. If possible, have them come to your event to cheer you on for all of your hard work and to watch you cross the finish line.

If you’re traveling quite a distance for your race, plan it during a family vacation so it’s a fun time for everyone.

Get Good Rest, Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

Even though you may become anxious and excited about your event, don’t forget the importance of taking care of our body during the final week. Try to get as much sleep as possible, eat well-balanced meals and keep up with your fluids. Having a healthy body and mind will also help to keep your stress levels lower because you feel good.

Incorporate these tips as you prepare for your big event and you are sure to have a great race with little stress on you or your family.





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