Ellie Lewis is a lightweight international rower.

She is about to trial for team GB and hopes to get to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Following on from our blog on training your brain, here Ellie shares how she prepares for race day and gets into the best mindset for a performance to be proud of.

1. Plan the timings of your day

From waking up to race start time I always make sure I have planned and made a note (on my phone or in my notebook) of where I need to be at what time of the day, working backwards from race start time. This includes arriving at the venue, eating times, when to begin my warm-up, and I always allow some extra ‘faff’ time to alleviate any last-minute panic.

2. Be organised

No doubt you will have an early start and the likelihood of forgetting something is very high. I always get my kit out, plan my food prep and pack my bag the night before so that I’m ready to go when my alarm goes off. You don’t need any extra stress on race day.

3. Confidence

You will no doubt be nervous, but the hard work is done in training, now it’s time to perform and enjoy the rewards! Racing is my favourite part of my sport and it’s the reason I love to train so hard. Be confident in all the miles you’ve banked and PB’s you’ve smashed, and you’ll deliver a great performance.

4. ‘What if’ strategies

Something we are often told to think about are ‘what if’ strategies. These could be possible scenarios that ‘could’ happen on race day, which may stress you out or cause panic. However unexpected they may be, planning how you would respond to such stressful situations will allow you to stay calm if anything drastic were to happen.

5. Race plan

Be sure to have a race plan! It’s very important that you have practised it and feel confident in how to deliver it. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy detailed record of every moment of the race, but just something that will keep you focused with key markers of when you want to push on or pacing targets.

Final Thought...

My first coach told me to always “trust the process”, this not only applies to my well-rehearsed race plan, but it gives me so much belief when I’m sat on the start line.

I like to think back to all the tough training and work I have put in prior to the race, I feel excited to show what I can do, and it means I am in a positive mindset to perform to my best on the day.

About the Author

Ellie Lewis is a brand athlete for KYMIRA Sport and a lightweight British Rower

Further Reading

If you found this post interesting you may like to read more about mental preparation or developing your winning mentality.

If you need a bit more general motivation to train here are some great ideas to help you out.

Or if you need to figure out how to eat your way to success we have some advice for you there too.

April 17, 2019 — Ellie Lewis

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