Showing up to a Nordic ski race is easier when you’ve got expert tips.
- Pack the night before. Doesn’t matter if you’re a morning person—make sure your car is loaded so nothing gets left behind.
- Plan your race morning out so you have a schedule so nothing is a surprise. That includes wake-up time, breakfast, final packing, drive time to the event (plan for traffic), and warm-up time.
- Avoid the last-minute panic. People tend to run around and freak out about things that don’t matter--it’s important to stay relaxed and save your energy.
- Focus on the things that will have the biggest affect on your skiing. If you don’t have the BEST wax that’s okay, as long as it’s good enough. Don’t chase the wax in lieu of your warm up.
Focus on what you can control. For example, the weather is not in your control. Do the best you can and don’t worry about it. Mitigate it and move on.
- Have a parking plan. Parking can be a surprising monkey wrench on race days. Most race sites are small, remote and don’t usually accommodate a big crowd. Ask in advance about parking, or plan to carpool. Be prepared to walk a bit with your gear, so be packed and consolidated.
- Allow yourself time to do a good warm up. For a shorter race, you need at least a 45 minute warmup to get your fat burning; if you start too fast it’ll take you longer to get that metabolism started. Try 15 minutes really slow, 15 mins intervals pickups, 3-5 by 2-5 minutes, below race pace. You should be sweating and breathing hard, but not killing yourself.
- Don’t stop before the start. It’s tempting to line up or stay close to the start, but don’t be afraid to keep moving so you stay warm and avoid getting chilled.
- Biggest hack: Make sure you have a dry shirt at the finish!!!