from Training Peaks
Now that we’re getting into triathlon race season, it’s a great idea to review some important things to do so that you can have a race that is as smooth as possible. Of course these tips assume you are physically prepared (you have been training, right?) for your race!
10) Write a race plan. Have your race-day strategy planned out on paper or via electrons. The plan should mimic what you’ve been doing in your training. Have a coach? Make sure you work with your coach when developing your plan. Include packing lists in your plan. One list should be for race items (gear/nutrition) and one for “other” items, especially if you are travelling to the race location before the event.
9) Practice changing a flat tire. Because you are usually your own mechanic in triathlons, the quicker you can change a flat, the better your race will be if you were to get a flat. And practice using those CO2 cartridges! (Not all of us will be fortunate like Chrissie Wellington’s 2008 Ironman World Championship experience.)
8) Do not try to “cram” in extra workouts. Stick to your training plan. If this is an “A” race for you, you will have a nice taper so that you can enter the race rested but ready to go your race pace. Don’t negate the gains that you have made by “making sure you can do the distance” the week of the race.
7) Read the race information and attend a pre-race meeting. Many races publish information for athletes on the race website a few days before the race. Get familiar with the course, the race rules, and know in which wave you are!
6) Focus on your nutrition several days before the race. Eat foods that you know sit well with you starting a few days before the race. Decrease fiber intake (that big black bean burrito might look good the day before your race, but there’s a good chance you’ll regret it!) I recommend planning your nutrition strategy starting a couple days before the race. Make sure you hydrate well, but there is no need to over-hydrate (those trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night just get in the way!)
RACE DAY TIPS
5) Get to the race site early. This leaves you plenty of time to take care of business, handle any last minute “oh craps!” and learn the layout of transition.
4) Warm-up. Get in at least 10 minutes of a warm-up. I like my athletes to do dynamic warm-ups, jog/run for a few minutes and finish with a few short accelerations to race pace to wake up the legs. Also, if the race venue allows, get in a few hundred yards of swimming as close to your race start as possible. The shorter the race, the longer your warm-up should be.
3) Stick to your plan. You wrote a race plan based on your training successes (pacing and nutrition) so stick to it as best you can. Granted, there will be deviations, but those will be easier to handle if you are prepared.
2) Have quick but not hurried transitions. You should have practiced transitions in your training, so these should be smooth – almost second nature. Stay relaxed and you’ll be quick!
1) Smile at the finish. You’ll be in the pain cave, the hurt locker, your world of hurt, or whatever you call race day “pain” out on the race course. But you’ll have more fun if you smile through it (Or be like me and make your grimace look like a smile…the spectators will never know!).