Preparing For Competition Day.

Preparation means rest. You can't make improvements in a matter of a week or two via training. Rest, steroids, blood doping, and cocaine are the only things that can improve your performance at this point. This article covers the rest component. You're on your own with the pharmaceuticals. That doesn't mean don't do them- you'll run like a banshee if you do. I happily applaud drug abusers.

I'm kidding. Not really, I'm actually totally serious. You need to do them bad. Drug free competition makes for a miserable spectator sport. Okay, still kidding. Kind of. Moving along...

If you take 2-3 days of rest, that should allow your glycogen stores to replenish. The rest of the week should allow your enzymes to adapt, any soreness to resolve and muscle tears or damage to heal. So a week off is good. During that week, taper off the time spent in practice. Don't taper off the intensity though. Train exactly as intense. Just cut down the time. A half practice or two, one or two quarter practices. Then nothing while eating and sleeping a lot. A lot. The benefits of whimsical relaxation here offer you roughly the same benefit as the previous 2 months of training. Maybe not that much, but probably.

Once you're actually at the event, the warm up is critical. Cardiac output increases and the muscle starts releasing metabolites which dilate the capillary beds in the muscle. So a good warm up increases the oxygen circulating to the muscle before the event even starts. This is really, really good. In addition to increasing your body's ability to produce aerobic energy, it also increases intramuscular temperature which increases muscle elasticity and lowers the risk of injury. This takes about 10 minutes though, so that's a general idea of how long the warm-up should last.

This is pretty much it for the warm-up. Don't overdo it and once you're warm, you'll stay warm for a few minutes of doing nothing. So you don't need to vibrate in the starting blocks or anything. You can quit warming up a couple minutes before the gun goes off.

People will tell you about more benefits to warming up, but these people are absurd. "Fine tuning motor skills, psychological preparation" and things like this. These are meaningless. You've trained for quite a while. If you don't have the motor skills by now, that's weird. It shouldn't even be a cognitive thing anyway. When beheadings used to be ordinary, it wasn't uncommon for the person to lose their head, and then run their headless body all around the avenue. Same thing with chickens. That's what gave us the expression "running around like a chicken with it's head cut off." That's a stupid expression. People who use it should be bit by wild, crying wolves. But it proves that running is a habitual physical movement that requires no cognitive effort whatsoever. Thus, "fine tuning motor skills" is nothing. And if you aren't psychologically prepared, I'm not certain how some trotting is going to assist you.

Turn to the scalpel to get a leg up on competition. I'm sorry that didn't make any sense. Last important thing: don't stretch before competition. It doesn't do any good. Statistically speaking, your chances of injury are exactly the same, but your performance suffers. The passive tension achieved from the hugely lengthened state fatigues your muscle and messes up nerve conduction so you end up weak. Just stretch out when the race is over.

Best of luck. Remember the doping.

Question: What are you talking about with blood doping?

Answer: There's actually a bunch of ways to do it. The old way was to pull out a bunch of blood a long time pre-race. Then after a little while your body remanufactures however much blood you pulled out. A day or two before the race, you take the red blood cells from what you pulled out, and inject them back in. Now your total red blood cell count is way above normal, and it's your red blood cells that deliver oxygen to your muscles to carry out metabolic demands. It's pretty clever actually. After a few days, your body is able to return to regular levels and the benefit disappears.

The new way to do it. I guess it's not new anymore. The newer way to do it is EPO. Erythropoietin. If you take this, it does everything for you. There's no more pulling out blood and putting it back in. EPO increases red blood cell production, increasing your oxygen carrying capacity via its own merit.

And when your oxygen carrying capacity is up, you can meet higher metabolic demands. This means you can endure faster paces for longer durations without fatigue. And of course this is bad for you. Your blood gets all thick and viscous, and your heart has to work like crazy to move it's thick, viscousness around. When this happens, your blood pressure gets all super high and it really ups your chances of having either a heart attack or stroke, or both. That's in addition to your seizures.

So yes, death is on the line, but anything 400m and up, you'll set records. And I would certainly enjoy watching you perform under these conditions- but for your sake, in all honesty, I totally wouldn't do it ever. When you're 41 and trying to establish yourself as a professional adult, it'll be challenging for people to not giggle at your immobile right face parts due to adolescent drug use.