First race of the year for most of us is fast approaching – below are pointers I get asked about most frequently. Mostly, though, remember that you belong at the race – no matter what facebook may have you believe, no one has this sport mastered :). If you need help, ask! Race day rarely goes perfectly for anyone – how you handle those curve balls is what matters. You got this – find that inner warrior and press on. Hustle, get gritty, give high fives, push the envelop, smile, get uncomfortable, say thanks, and be awesome 🙂
Race Day – Keep it Simple & Stick to YOUR plan
- Race Day Packing List – writing a list helps make sure you get what you need and leave what you don’t. No need to rely on frantic race day brain to make sure you remember your goggles!
- Write out a Race Day Timeline – Race day can be much more relaxing (i.e. save energy for racing not worrying) if you know you’re on schedule instead of frantically hoping you make it on time.
- Keep it Simple – stick with what you know and what you’ve been practicing. Resist that pesky temptation to second guess everything you’ve been doing when you show up and see what other athletes are doing (we’ve all been there – resist!!). Stick to YOUR plan.
- Give yourself a bit of extra time race morning – why not? If you arrive early you can sit in the (warm) car and drink
coffeea hydrating beverage of your choice.
- Take warm stuff for race morning (including the feet) – why use race energy trying to stay warm?
- Transition Area – Don’t be THAT GUY (or gal) with the sprawling tri gear – keep your area tidy – be a good triathlete neighbor :). Put your transition gear either under your bike or just to the side and only items you will use during the race.
- Bike Etiquette – On the course, stay to the right (to allow others to pass if needed). If you are the one passing, notify the other cyclist by yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” so they know you are coming. This frequently gets overlooked on race day, but no one wants to crash so do your part. #saferacing #saferiding
Managing Cold Water*
While we never know for sure until race day, the water this year might be chilly. For most, it’s when cold water hits the face that we have the strongest reaction. It may *feel* like it’s taking your breath away and you may need a few moments to manage this. It’s extremely important to submerge the face and get control of your breath before you start to swim. If you either haven’t swam in cold water before or know that it’s something you struggle with, make it a priority to get control of your breath before you start to swim (even during the race). You may have to hang for a minute or two and focus on this – but your body will adjust and those extra few minutes can make a huge difference to the rest of your swimming and your race.
*We will have a pre-race briefing at 5:00 on Saturday before the race and will be touching on this topic if that’s of interest.
Should I do the warm up swim race morning (if there is one)?
There is no right answer to this – some athletes prefer to do a run warm up if the water and/or air temps are going to be extra chilly. Remember your goal is to get blood flowing to those muscles and help them prepare to race – do what works for you. Just have those warm clothes ready to put on when you get done warming up.
Pacing: Race to your Training
Pacing can be a tricky one – but aim to set expectations for the race based on the training you’ve been doing. Set that darn ego aside and think about what your body is ready to do – if you’ve been training hard, it might be time to push it! If life has gotten in the way of training, set those pacing goals accordingly. Avoid the temptation to ‘move your goal post’ or change your goals upon arriving on site race day. yikes. Stick with your plan that’s based on what you’ve been doing in training.
Have fun out there & stay safe. We’ll be rooting for you!
#grit #hustle #teamwork