Preparing for a racing meet is an involved process from packing your food for the day to ensuring you have enough racing suits in reserve. Different races usually require different suits as does the warm up, the race itself and the cool down swim. I have a routine that I follow each time I race. Firstly I pack my bag the night prior making sure I have everything including caps, goggles, towels and stretching gear. In the morning I prepare my food for the day which will include food that can be quickly and easily absorbed to replenish my stores after a race and food that looks edible after sitting in my bag for 6 hours. I pack in a huge water bottle and a sports drink plus a coffee which I drink on the way to the meet. I also make sure I have my iPod to kill the time in between races and to listen to in the Marshalling area.
Once I get to the pool I go and speak to my coach, Bohly and we go through my events and my race plan. Then I stretch and change into my swimmers and do the warm up, which is basically the same every time except for a slight change depending on the distance of the race. I generally do my warm up 90 minutes before my race is scheduled and this takes about 50 minutes. When I am finished the warm up which is usually 2 – 2.5 kilometers, I have a few mouthfuls of sports drink before changing into my racing suit and I tend to allow 20 minutes for this. I need to be in the Marshalling area 20 minutes before my race so I have my routine scheduled perfectly. Once I am in the Marshalling area that’s when I start to mentally prepare for the race. I like to listen to my music and keep pretty much to myself and I use this time to chill out and try to relax. I do get nervous but I like to use the nerves to my advantage as I know if I am nervous I am ready to race. Once the race is finished I go straight to Bohly and we go through the race splits and things to work on and improve as there is always something that could have been done better. Then I get changed out of my racing suit and back into the training suit, consume some sports drink and a few lollies and then commence my 1 kilometer swim down. Sometimes there can be 5 races in a day and it is very time consuming preparing for each race but it is essential to do it properly.
Olympic champion Stephanie Rice encourages her fans and followers to check her website regularly over the coming months as she will be discussing her progress towards the 2012 London Olympic Games. Stephanie's Website