Race Prep Lesson #5 - Build Routines With Your Coach!

Watch Martha's video here:

Read the lesson summary below!

Martha Head to Head


When you get nervous, get butterflies, just remind yourself that it's a really good thing

Like other Head to Head mentors, Martha agrees that nerves are a normal and healthy part of swimming (and life)!  It means you have put effort into your performance.

Remember - The end result doesn’t change you as a person!

Tip # 1 - Build Routines With Your Coach

Martha collaborated with her coaches when she started building her routine at 11 or 12 yrs old.  They would discuss different ideas for her schedule, in pool warm-up, on land activation or anything else that they felt they could adjust to help her reach her best performance.

Martha's Pre-Race Schedule

  • 2.5 - 3hrs to race: Eat a meal (sandwich, veggies, fruit, whole grains, or bagel with peanut butter and banana)
  • 1hr 30min to race: Arrive at pool
  • 1hr 15min to race: Dryland activation
  • 1hr to race: Begin 30 min warm up in the water
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    30 min to race: Get racing suit on
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    15 min to race: Light land activation
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    10 min to race: Keep body WARM!
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    5 min to race: Cap and goggles on
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    RACE - focus on each step within

Martha’s ‘lucky charm’ was her red Canadian mittens. She wore them before every international final from 2010 when she first got the mittens all the way to her final competition - the 2016 Rio Olympics!

Tip #2 - Write things down that are working well

Throughout training, Martha would keep track of small successes by writing them down in her swim journal.  This would include things like; positive feedback from coaches, feeling technically good, posting a solid time in a workout, or... anything else that made her feel good.

This would help boost her confidence if she ever started to doubt herself when she got closer to swim meets.

You did it!