A few days before the race, I will visualize the race in my head from the very start to the very finish, including the transitions and so on. This allows me to get all of these details into my head. I feel like then I can go ahead and relax and get rested for the race without constantly thinking about the race. - Heather Fuhr

Wow, can you believe we are on the 9th Mental Monday? We must be making some serious progress! This week we are going to delve into Race Plan Creation. Get out your pencils and paper and follow along. We are going to set up a starter race plan, and it's goal is to get you to the starting line as prepared as possible to excel. This race plan does not cover what your tactics should be during the race, but developing your "race strategy" should be one of many elements of your race plan. After your first race, review your plan and make tweaks. That's the fun part. It's neat to add different elements that you think will help you in future races.

Your starter race plan needs to cover 4 main topics. - Physical - Mental - Equipment - Nutrition

Your race plan needs to cover 4 main time frames. - Day Before - Early Morning of Race Day - Arrival at Race Site - Final Preparation

All four topics should be covered for all four time frames. Mine is on one piece of paper and looks like a 16 block grid with time frames along the top and topics down the left side. Below I will outline some suggestions for things to think about including in your plan. Your plan must make sense to you, so this is a personal process! My best advice is try to walk through the 24 hours before your race in your head and jot down all that needs to happen. Then start thinking about the categories and scheduling your to-do's into those.

Physical Preparation Trips to the bathroom/port-a-pottie, what type of warm-up and how long, when/where to stretch, getting into your wet suit, deciding on the time schedule you need to get to the race, writing up the time frame of when everything will happen, alerting family members to race details, course preview, sleep schedule, waking schedule, showering

Mental Preparation race tactics preparation, race mediation or visualization, designing your plan with focus preferences in mind (social butterfly versus need alone time), intensity needs (do you need to take time to hype up, or calm down), when/when will all this take place

Equipment Preparation when you will pack, when you will check to make sure all equipment is functioning, when you will write up a packing list, how you will remind yourself to grab last minute refrigerator items, when and what do you need post race to change into, when will you put on your race clothing, when will you pack the car, how will your take care of family obligations during the hours before a race

Nutrition Preparation When/Where/What for your meals the day before, Morning Pre Race Meal, Pre starting line meal, Packing your race nutrition, timing of your meals with bathroom opportunities

Okay, go forth and plan. I know quite a few of you out there are running Platte 1/2 Marathon and you definitely need a RACE PLAN. I'll see if I can find a way to scan and post my first one up here before next week. Good Luck, and post a comment if you have anything to add/ask!

And AGAIN, if you haven't read the Triathletes Guide to Mental Training by Jim Taylor and Terri Schneider, you must! Much of what is here came from them.

It's Important to think where you want your mindset to be when you arrive at the transition area in the morning. There can be a lot of tension in the air. Make a commitment to staying in your mental zone. - Lance Watson (triathlete coach)