Key Components to a Race Plan

Racing season is here. Some of you may have already been to California or Texas or outside the United States to complete and test out your springtime fitness.

Did you follow your plan?

Below is a form I use to reference my race plan. I fill it out about 4-6 weeks from an important race, during my build/race specific training phase. That time frame gives me plenty of training sessions to practice my pacing, mental and nutrition strategies I plan to use for my event. Writing it down often eases any anxiety I may have. Having a plan reminds me of all the preparation I have done, helps me confirm or reassess the SMART goal I made the previous months. I am ready for a fun experience come race day.

Key components of a race plan

  1. Reviewing your personal goals for your race is the first step in formulating your race plan. Goals should follow the SMART goal acronym.
    With your overall race time goal established, you can now establish your time goals for each segment of the race-based times achieved in training or recent performance You and/or your coach should work to create realistic yet challenging race pace goals.
  2. Next, you should develop your personal race day nutrition strategy, even if this is your first event. This means deciding what you will eat and drink before, during and after your event based both on science and practice. Race fuel is a highly individual matter. As a result, it is vital that you create a plan that works for you and practice it. Click here to listen to what Cindy Dallow, Ph.D, R.D has to say about training and race day nutrition
  3. Finally, you should plan out the mental strategies, self-talk,  visualization, and other things to keep you focused and motivated. After some reflection, you should be able to generate a list of mental traits that have been successful for you before.

You should be practicing your race plan in your training rides and runs to make it second nature. If you have a great plan for the race AND HAVE PRACTICED IT WELL, then you will keep your emotions in check more easily and do what is best for you on race day.


Free PDF: Race Plan Outline Template

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Happy training and make it a great day!

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