Friday, November 02, 2012

The 48 Hour Rule

By Frank DeVar

For anyone who has competed in a collegiate sport, you have probably heard of the infamous, “48 Hour Rule.” I remember my first team meeting at Mary Washington, this mythical rule was spoken about in hushed voices by upperclassmen before it was beaten into my head by coach. For those not familiar with this rule, an athlete is not permitted do drink alcohol or engage in sexual activity, 48 hours before competing.

My freshman year I was religious about following this rule. There was a time I was out on a date before a race with a girl who wanted the night to live on, and I steadfastly refused any advances under the unquestioned belief that such actions would be detrimental to team and myself. The next day I had a Facebook message from her with an attached article stating that the illicit actions outlined in the 48 hour rule may actually help with sleep and ease nerves. My sophomore year, following a stressful week, I had the opportunity to go carousing on a Thursday night. With a race Saturday, I would be breaking the “Rule!” I went out anyways, and ended up running a PR in the 3000 meters and winning the race. The next day I got in a shouting match with a senior captain who questioned my discipline (he, in the same race ran a near identical time to his girlfriend and finished near the end). Needless to say, our relationship was never the same.

Since that 3000 meter race, I have decided that this rule, is in fact, for the undisciplined, and unmotivated. If your biggest concern is your actions in the 48 hours before a race, and not in the weeks and months leading up to it, then your priorities are out of line. For those of you still unsure about the proper way to deal with the night before a race, follow this simple rule:

Do whatever will keep you relaxed. If this means a beer, or a little romance, do it. The worst thing you can do is over-think the race, which is exactly what happens all too often with those who follow, The 48 Hour Rule.

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