5 Simple Tips to Make Your Triathlon Great
The big day is almost here. You've trained hard, and you’re ready for race day to finally get here. But before that gun goes off, there are still a few steps left to take to ensure your TRYathlon goes smoothly.
Pound those fluids early – Proper hydration is key to performing your best. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, cramps, and chills on the mild side. But more importantly, it will zap your endurance, and worst case scenario, cause you to drop out due to fatigue. The morning of, though, is too late to start hydrating. It takes time for your body to hydrate. And drinking too much liquid before the gun goes off can lead to cramps and eventually a full bladder. Start drinking plenty of water at least 24 hours before your race, and just enough that morning to satisfy your thirst.
Make a list and check it twice - Musts: Swimsuit, bike, bike helmet, and running shoes. Optional: Running/biking shorts and/or shorts to wear over your swimsuit for the bike and run, socks, towel, goggles, sunglasses, swim cap, water bottle, cycling shoes, gloves, hat/visor, energy gel or chews. Decide which of the optional items you want for the race, and put together a checklist. The night before, mark each one off your list as you pack them. Not only will this prep save you time in the morning, it'll save you unnecessary pre-race stress.
Plan your transitions – The transition area can be a bit overwhelming. Think about the best way to layout your items so you can transition quickly and smoothly. Most people set their towel down and lay items on top in the order they put them on. But it is up to personal preference. Once you have your plan, practice it until you move through it smoothly. Pro Tip: Bring a brightly colored towel to easily spot your equipment in the transition area.
Stick with what works – The morning of the race isn’t the time to try something new. Wear clothes you have trained in before. Eat and drink something you have had before you trained. Setup your items the same way as when you practiced your transitions. The less you have to think about that morning, the more you can focus on the race.
Keep Calm and Tri On – Worried that you won’t know what to do or where to go? Arrive early so you can get a lay of the land, find the transition area and setup your items. Ask people if they have done the course before or if they have any pointers or any other questions you may still have. During the race, slow down if you are unsure where to go next. Read signs on the course, listen to course marshals, and be aware of your surroundings to avoid accidents. Keep it simple, and you’ll be all set.
Most importantly, before, during and after the race, congratulate yourself for giving a triathlon a try. Not many people do. Welcome to the club!