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Let’s look at how you could follow an ideal day at a regatta - this is the same for a local 2 day event or 7 day National Championship and remains pretty standard across classes from dinghies to keel boats. Obviously, the more physical the class, then the more preparation and recovery you would do. Like wise, a windy day will be more physically demanding than a light wind day.
There are three main areas to focus on each day:
1. Wake up at a similar time each day. Even on lay days. This helps regulate the body’s internal clock. Have a glass of water soon after rising.
2. Have a substantial breakfast that includes some carbohydrates and protein. Examples could include eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, yogurt and juice.
3. Do some light activity before leaving home. Aim for about 15-20 minutes to get the body moving - walk, swim, cycle or a just light stretch.
1. Ensure you have some fluid during or as soon as possible after each race on a multiple race day.
2. After the final race aim to have something carbohydrate-based as a snack and more fluid within 45 minutes after finishing.
3. Have a light stretch at the venue if it has been a demanding race day. Do this before any social activities.
1. Once home have a shower and finish with cold water only to help recovery .
2. With dinner, aim for a balanced meal that includes some protein - chicken, fish or meat. A bowl of pasta and sauce is not the best option. Keep drinking non-alcoholic fluids to stay hydrated.
3. After dinner is a good time to stretch or to do some self massage or get some release work done on tight muscles.
4. To switch off mentally you could read, listen to some music, watch a DVD, play games or anything that helps you to wind down. Try to put the days’ racing to bed and get the brain ready to sleep and recuperate.
5. If you are hungry then a light snack is fine before bed. A yogurt or small smoothie would be ideal here.
6. Aim to get to bed at a consistent time each night that allows for 8+ hours of quality sleep.
Be sure to try this routine on club race days or at small events before your major event for the year. Like new sails or mast, a major event is not the time to introduce anything new. Be comfortable with how your body reacts to racing and what you need to do to prepare it for racing the next day. If you arrive at a venue early then slot into this routine in the days leading into event. The body loves consistency and you will feel remarkably fresh by the final race of the final day - when it all counts!
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