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How to Survive 24 Hours of Le Mans

I am a hugely passionate enthusiast when it comes to racing.


Get Yourself a Good Sleep Routine Before the Race

It is absolutely crucial that you are well rested before the race begins. In fact, you want to build up your sleep routine at least a week before the actual race. While the race lasts ''only'' 24 hours, you probably will be awake for much longer than that as you watch the warm-up before the main event and the opening ceremony which is definitely worth seeing. All in all, you won't get a lot of sleep on Saturday if you want to see it all.

If possible, get yourself as much sleep as possible during Friday as it is the day when the competitors of the 24h of Le Mans will have a well-deserved rest day after a tough Thursday consisting of two long practice sessions as well as a very important hyper pole that sets the grid for the Saturday's main spectacle.

Make Sure You Have All Meals Prepared

Make sure that everything is prepared before the race starts. After all, you do not want to miss out on some important track action while cooking your meal. You also want to make sure that whatever you choose to eat during this endurance race actually benefits you in staying awake and making it through the whole thing. Therefore, say goodbye to trash food as it is not a good option if you want to feel fresh all the way to the finish line.

Instead, prepare some fruit, plenty of water (you definitely want to stay hydrated), and some energy drinks (a lot of people would advise you to not use these at all but from my perspective, they work and they will make you feel better). However, make sure that you do not overdose yourself with a lot of caffeine as that could potentially be dangerous.

You also need to consume some regular food as well, but make sure you do not experiment too much. Instead, stick with the food you are well used to and that you know will make you feel good and energized.

Now it is time to talk about alcohol. 24 hours of Le Mans is a true holiday for all motorsport fans. It is almost unthinkable to not celebrate such a special occasion with some alcoholic beverages of your preference. Have in mind though that alcohol does not increase your chances whatsoever when it comes to staying awake. In fact, it does the exact opposite for most of us and therefore reduces your chances to stay energized.

Switch Positions and Exercise During the Race

Your main goal probably is to get through the whole race. To succeed with that there are some things that you can massively benefit from if doing. The most obvious one is exercising because it goes without saying that laying or sitting down all the time will make it hugely difficult for you to stay energized.

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Some situps and squats are what I prefer and highly recommend. It is also a good idea to walk in place in front of your television, computer, or whatever device you watch the race on. However, you do not want to exercise too much, as you will then end up being very tired instead.

See, it all is about finding the perfect balance. Once you manage to do that these long races will become a much more enjoyable experience and you will be able to extract the most fun of them.

Water Is Your Friend

I mentioned this already when I talked about the importance of staying hydrated. However, drinking water is not the only thing that can help you here. Fast cold showers can also be a great way if you fancy cold water.

If cold showers make you shiver then at least wash your face with some cold water several times during the race when you feel tired. Trust me - it makes a huge difference.

Never Give Up

There will be times when you will be extremely tired and there is a risk you maybe start to think about giving up on it all. No matter how hard it will feel, try to stay positive. It is totally natural for every one of us to experience those moments in such long races like the one at Le Mans. It is very tough to stay awake and also be active and pay full attention to what happens on the racetrack. These tough moments will occur several times during the race so be prepared for that.

The usual time when it can be very tough to stay awake is between 4 and 6 am. That is a time when you most likely will feel very tired no matter how well you prepared yourself before. It is also time to deploy your best food and drink supplies on the game field and maybe even consider a quick shower to re-energize your body.

Make Sure You Enjoy Yourself

This is the most vital part. The 24 hours of Le Mans is a fantastic event and a real festival of motorsport. Make therefore sure that you really enjoy yourself. This amazing race comes to us just once a year and it is therefore important to extract the most out of it. That does not apply only to competitors who take part in the race, but even to us followers and fans who try to watch and follow all the action on the track as much as possible.

It does not really matter if this is your first time or if you are experienced enough. This race always tends to bring out something new and appealing for everyone. Whether you plan to watch the race alone or together with someone else, if you follow these steps it is surely gonna be a pleasant and hopefully never forgetting experience that will stick with you for a long time. So get ready for the race and see you at the chequered flag!

© 2021 Jan Stepan

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