Pre-race tips to follow before you toe the start line
Three days before
Get started with these pre-race tips three days before Rookie Tri. Label all of your gear with an indelible marker. Write your name and phone number on the inside of your running and biking shoes, on the tag inside your wetsuit, inside your helmet, etc.
Make sure your toenails are clipped.
Put on the goggles and adjust them to fit. Do a test in the pool or sink to make sure they don’t leak.
Study the course so you know what to expect. Where are the turns, uphills, downhills or flats? How many aid stations? Where are they located?
The night before
Organize your gear: Follow these pre-race tips the night before, lay everything out, and go through your checklist. Then put related items in separate bags for easier sorting. Attach the race number to the bike frame, helmet, and the clothing you’ll be wearing for the bike and/or run.
Tip: Use a race belt to attach race numbers. It’s quick to put on and good for both the bike and run (plus, no safety pins). Wear it so the number is visible in back for the bike, then rotate it to the front for the run.
Eat normally: Don’t eat new things; stick with the foods you usually eat. Try to have some protein (chicken, fish, turkey), a little healthy fat (avocados, nuts, olives) and a lot of carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans). Note: It’s best to eat this way for three days before your event.
Get some sleep: Go to bed early. If you’re nervous about waking up in the morning, set multiple alarms (alarm clock, watch, cell phone, wake-up call) for a more relaxed and peaceful sleep. Plan on waking up extra early so your body can adjust its “routine.”
Eating: Eat something. As with the previous night’s meal, eat the same foods your body is used to eating, and eat at least two hours before the race so the food can digest. A beverage high in carbohydrates is a good alternative if you have problems with eating and digesting foods before a race.
Clothing: It’ll probably be cool in the morning, so dress in layers. Swimsuit, compression clothing and/or tri suit, light shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, and hat.
Timing Chip: Put the timing chip on your left leg—on the right leg it could catch on the bike gears.
Arrival: Get there about an hour before the race. This leaves time for a calm transition set up, going to the bathroom, and meeting others that are racked around you and in your swim waves.
Transition: Transition areas can get hectic during a race so make sure you know the flow of swim in, bike out, bike in and run out.
- The early bird gets the end spot.
- The end spots are coveted in an open rack triathlon since it is easy to see your bike.
- Do not move someone else’s bike to get the spot you want.
- Do not put tape on the racks. If you want to make your spot to where you will not forget it, the best thing is a bright colored towel. I suggest a kid’s beach towel folded in half.