I’ve got my first triathlon of the season tomorrow- the Grafham Water Standard Distance. Race season has come around quickly and it’s time to put all of those months of training into practice!
I wrote a race-day checklist last August, but I also wanted to share some other preparation tips to help you have the most successful race day…
Two Weeks Before
- It’s worth taking your bike in for a service before a big race to check it is in full working order and to replace any worn parts.
- Plan your race-day nutrition and buy any necessary gels, bars or tabs.
- Check whether you will be receiving your race-pack in the post or if it is to be collected on race day.
- Remind yourself of the BTF Competition Rules– they’re pretty long-winded but you don’t want to risk disqualification over a simple mistake.
- Stay hydrated- keep sipping water regularly throughout the days in the week leading up to the race.
- It’s worth booking a sports massage to loosen off before the race.
- Take the day off from training and rest up.
- Check your bike over- make sure the brakes and gears are working and pump up the tires if necessary. Check end caps are in place. Remove anything unnecessary- I’ve taken off my GoPro mount and lights as I won’t need these on race day.
- Pack your saddlebag- make sure you’ve got spare tubes, tyre levers, a pump or CO2.
- Trim your nails- long/sharp nails can easily tear your wetsuit.
- Lay out your kit and run through a checklist to ensure you have everything you need for the swim, bike and run, plus clothing for after the race.
- Mentally rehearse your transitions- think about the order your will need the kit.
- If using elastic lock laces, fit them to your running shoes and make sure them are comfortable.
- If using a Garmin, put it on to charge.
- Plan your journey to the race venue and make sure to allow enough time to travel. There’s nothing worse than arriving late and flustered! My race tomorrow has actually moved to a different location, due to a waterlogged course- so planning the route to the new venue is an extra consideration.
- Check the weather forecast and predicted water temperature.
- Give your race number to any friends or family who might be tracking you on the day.
- If driving to the race, check the parking situation and take some change if you need to pay on the day.
- Set an alarm! Mine’s set for 5am tomorrow!
- Try to get an early night although it can be difficult to sleep before a big race.
- Have a decent carbohydrate based breakfast- my choice is usually porridge with a banana.
- Apply suncream if it’s forecast to be a warm day.
- Apply chamois cream!
- Apply baby oil or Body Glide to any areas that might chafe.
- Fill up waterbottles and drop in some hydration tabs if using. Put your nutrition on the bike.
- Attach your bib to your race belt, I usually take a hole-punch to make holes in the corners. It is a bit strange bringing an item of stationery to a triathlon I know!
- Apply any stickers to your bike and helmet. Apply race number tattoos if necessary.
- Rack your bike in a low gear.
- Attach your timing chip to your left ankle.
- Lay out your transition area, keeping it as neat and organised as possible, with kit in a logical order.
- Loosen the straps and laces on your shoes so they are easy to put on.
- Familiarise yourself with the flow of the transition area- find the bike out/bike in and run out.
- If you have any spectators, arrange where they will be on the course and where to meet them after you have finished.
- Attend the race briefing.
Do you have any more pre-race preparation tips?