Race week is finally here for the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship! I am thrilled to be back in Hawaii for another epic island experience. In addition to the race itself, I am looking forward to my "must do" activities each time I visit this special place.
In order to ensure your Hawaiian racing adventure is the ultimate experience, I've created a top 10 list for 2012 Worlds:
- Pre-race hydration. Drinking fluids for race day starts now. Each day drink at least half an ounce of water per body pound each day. Add electrolytes of your favorite sort daily to ensure you are primed for your race. Race day fluid intake should be about topping off reserves, rather than making up for lost time.
- Food. Eat whole food all week. Complex carbohydrates lean proteins, and quality fats are key to strong fast legs and perfectly tuned athletic bodies. I believe that the best time for your "pre-race meal" is lunch the day before. My suggestion is to visit a fun restaurant while you are at packet pick-up in Waikiki. That way, you know you have nutrition reserves topped off for Sunday.
- XTERRA University. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, at packet pick-up, hang out for a bit to ask questions and learn more about the race course and race day. Trust me, the knowledge will make your race day that much better!
- Feet. If you are not used to hot humid environments, your feet may need a bit of different love. I come from a very dry climate. I find my XTERRA World's races go better when I put a bit of shea butter on my feet to act as a way to reduce friction when my feet swell a bit more in the heat than I am used to while running. Blister prevention whatever your way of it is imperative!
- Sleep. Do all possible each day to get to bed at an earlier hour. This will help with time zone adjustments as well as feeling fresh when it matters.
- Know where you are going. Although an island, Oahu is no Gilligan's Island! It takes a while to get around. For race morning, arrange to take the shuttle to Kualoa Ranch (purchase ticket at packet pickup on Saturday) from Waikiki, car pool, or have your GPS dialed for an easy commute to Kualoa Ranch.
- Race-day hydration. It will most likely be very hot and humid. Drink at the aid stations and take notice how you feel in terms of electrolytes. A few moments spent sipping needed water will lead to a better overall race experience.
- Plan to hang out a while post race. Kualoa Ranch is a very beautiful special place. It is really nice to finish the race, enjoy the sun, scenery and the incredible XTERRA community. It is rare for even the locals to have the opportunity to spend the day at the ranch. Take advantage of it!
- Post race party back in Waikiki at JIMMY BUFFET'S. XTERRA parties are absolutely unforgettable! And yes, this is the most fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with your XTERRA family.
- Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-qATm9Boqs it will set your dreams on fire!
- Hmmm…. Apparently my top ten list turned into 11! Before, after and in-between events, I do have some favorite things to do. Here is my list:
- Run barefoot on a beach. I recommend this early morning the day after the race. Finish with a flying leap into the ocean.
- Swim in the ocean. Near Waikiki is a perfect swim spot. It is a great way to open up the legs and hips after a long airplane ride to Honolulu.
- Watch the big waves. December is a super cool time to be on Oahu. The surf on the North Shore is huge and well worth the scenic drive out.
- Go For a pre or post race trail run. Makapuu point, and Aiea Loop Trails are two of my favorites.
- Buy Kona coffee. It is my favorite take home souvenir!
Good luck in your XTERRA World Championship race. I am incredibly excited to see you soon!
Rachel Cieslewicz is an elite runner and triathlete based in St. George, Utah. She is a past winner of several XTERRA Trail Run events, and placed fifth at the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii. She is a talented sports massage therapist, Pilates and yoga instructor and is a certified running form coach. She can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website atwww.newageathlete.comor follow her onwww.twitter.com/newageathlete.