The main focus for race week is to ensure that your body is as fresh as possible on the start line.
This starts with the taper - you should be running much less mileage than normal, and at less intensity, which will help you get to the start line feeling rested. This is somewhat similar to our 'deload' weeks, but with even less intensity than a typical week. Whilst the mileage in a race week is low, you should still incorporate some high intensity speed work in there to stay sharp - we call this Taper Intervals.
If you'd like to read more about tapering, we've summarised the key points in the below article.
Don't panic that you're losing your fitness - you've trained hard over the past few weeks and it is time to reap the benefits. Training hard now won't make you any fitter in a week, it will just leave you fatigued.
So without further ado, here are our top tips for race week:
1. Practice in race kit
We would normally advise you to run in your race day kit for your longest run, but you can also try it out in race week to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
2. Plan your route to the start line
On race day, you don't want to be worrying about anything apart from the run. In the week before, take some time to plan how you are getting to the start line and your different travel options - just make sure you leave some extra time so you aren't running to the start!
3. Keep your food consistent
Practice your pre-race breakfast this week - you want to be able to control as many of the controllables as possible. It is important to stick to what you know in terms of nutrition and what works for you. Try to eat foods that you're used to and don't try anything new - it can take a while to recover from an upset stomach!
4. Drink and eat well all week!
You do not need to change anything too dramatic this week and you don't need to load your plate of pasta every night. However, it is important to identify the portions of each food group on your plate and increase the portion size of carbohydrates. Eating a slightly increased calorie intake the day before will also ensure you are fuelled sufficiently.
5. Stay Warm
Make sure you have planned to take something with you to keep you warm at the start line. This could be a bin bag or an old item of clothing. Most races have a charity drop box where you can donate it on the start line.
When it comes to race day, it is important that you don't try anything new. Check out our top tips for race day below!