Something that I usually gauge events on further is when the dates either appear either on my upcoming events reminder or the 10 day weather forecast. I don’t know at what point everyone else does, but thats when a whole new level of butterflies kick in for me. With the Tunnel to Towers run down to nine days away, it leaves me thinking am I ready for this…even if I know I can. Clearly Stephen Siller did it as have many brother firefighters since then and continue to do so through the Firefighter Turnout Challenge.
While I don’t personally know either of them, I know many of us that compete in our gear throughout the year. What I do know is that what I have done in the past has worked well for me, the only difference is road running with turnout gear. I’m not going to change much up other than the usual question of sanity! 🙂
Words of advice that I have learned over the last seven years.
- Hydrate – Plain jane water to the higher end sports drinks I’m sure you all have your favorites and some that you feel you perform better with. You don’t have to overdo it with gallons the day before and morning of because you will see it again. I find that starting to hydrate with 16-32 ounces of sports drink over a period of time a few hours before works really well and give the body time to process it. A little before the event to wet the whistle and you are good.
- Eat right! – Sure you can eat that Chipolte the night before or have the wings and beer night, but you will feel that in the morning. Eat well the night before and eat smart the morning of. Not a bunch of sugar that will be gone in minutes and not a ton of carbs the night before. DO NOT TRY NEW FOOD THE DAY BEFORE! That last is in caps for a reason, if you don’t know how it will sit, you very well might wake up not feeling on the top of your game. DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!!! Just as important. Don’t cram the food down right before your event, but give it some time to settle. I find a mix of cereal, a bread of some sort, fruits, eggs, and even a Nutrigrain bar to work very well for me. Find what works for you.
- Rest the night before. Get in bed early and get a good nights rest to let your body prepare for the beating the next day.
- If it doesn’t feel good it probably isn’t. If you are running, climbing, performing in your gear, make sure to listen to your body. While you’re putting a knockdown on a fire it might be a short duration in your gear and on air, running a 5k, 5 miler, half, or full marathon, or climbing towers you are in it for a more extended period of time.