Are you preparing for your first triathlon? Are the nerves getting on to you? That's normal! Everyone went through this curve. Even if you are many years into triathlon (and tri racing), everyone has some excitement before the race. Otherwise why would you do that?
Focus on to minimise the excitement to a level what is OK for you to handle; for most athletes besides knowing that he/she has trained the best under given circumstances, having the nutrition ready and tested, the below tips and checks can help to be ready for race day.
- Use some lubricants at wetsuit swim on neck/shoulder/calves to avoid chafing. It's easier to remove the wetsuit as well (vazeline, baby oil...).
- Throw in your bag a replacement googles.
- If there is a chance for a cold swim, appr 15-18 celcius degrees, consider using a neoprene cap and booties. Of course everyone is a separate individual, with different swim background and tolerance for cold weather.
- Same time it can also happen that the wetsuit is still allowed but you decide not to swim in it because it'd be too warm for you. Make the best choice for you. 23-24Celcius in a wetsuit can be too much when the sun is already shining...
- Have a pair of flip-flop and/or a thick pair of socks at the start. The mornings are usually cold and you have to easily wait 20-30 mins for the start.
- Think about warmup, will you get in the water or do you do dryland warm-up?
- Try your pre-race meal in advance as well, just as your full course nutrition. Will you use the nutrition provided by the organization or your own?
- If there is any chance that the swim would be cancelled due to bad water quality, high level of water etc take 2 pairs of race shoes with you as there might be a duathlon.
- If you go for a longer race, have rather 2 replacement tubes with you than one...Murphy does never sleep. Also take a small toolset.
- Transition: walk a few times in the transition zone to know where your bike is located, from all applicable directions. Know where your bags are (remember your number ;). Which row? Up or down? I hope until race day you have practiced the transition, how to change etc. You can loose long minutes there if not fully prepared.
- Check the rules for the cycling course. Is it a non-draft event? How much time do you have to complete overtaking another athlete?
- Will you use coaching zones? Check out where they are, in general have a good idea about the course.
- At "Ironman" events you can also use "special need" bags at a certain point of the course. Make your strategy in advance. Maybe you plan a finish time which will go late to the evening, temperatures can be cooler, you would need an extra running shirt eg. Use the special need bag.
- In your after race bag have plenty of warm clothes. Some races you need to walk 2-3k to get your bike and if it's cold/rainy it's just too much. For same reason have a few bites in that bag as well.
Do not forget the most important, enjoy your day!