Pre Race Planning
Triathlon Event Preparation
Before the Race
- Nutrition: Have a well-balanced meal 2-3 hours before the race, focusing on carbohydrates for sustained energy. Avoid food with fats or any new and unfamiliar foods.
- Hydration: Start hydrating early in the day and continue drinking water leading up to the race. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol.
- Bathroom Break: Use the toilet before putting on your wetsuit to minimise the need for mid-race bathroom stops.
- Warming Up: Around 30 mins before the race start, engage in a light 10-15 minutes warm-up routine to activate your muscles and get your body ready for the race. This can include light jogging, dynamic stretching, and swim drills.
- Wet Suit: If it’s a cold morning, pour warm (not hot!) water down the neckline of your wetsuit, it’ll help keep you toasty warm and prevent cool water seeping in during the swim.
Familiarising with the Course
- Course Familiarisation: Review the race course map and study any challenging sections, turns, or hills. Visualise yourself navigating the course with confidence.
- Transition Area: Walk through the transition area to familiarise yourself with the layout, ensuring you know the location of your bike, gear, and exit points. Try to pinpoint any markers to help find your gear when you enter T1 and T2.
- Swim Start: Arrive at the swim start early to acclimate to the water temperature, practice a few strokes, and get a sense of the conditions. If they won’t allow entry to the water prior to the race see if there’s a spot you can splash yourself with the water to begin to acclimatise ready for the swim.
During the Race
- Nutrition Strategy: Plan your race nutrition in advance. Carry easily digestible energy gels, sports drinks, or snacks to consume at regular intervals based on your training and personal needs.
- Hydration: Utilise aid stations to stay hydrated throughout the race. Sip water or sports drinks as needed, but be mindful not to overconsume and cause discomfort.
- Mental Focus: Stay positive and focused during the race. Use visualisation techniques to envision successful race execution and remind yourself of your training and preparedness.
- Pacing: Stick to your planned race pace, adjusting as necessary. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the start; maintain a sustainable effort throughout each leg.
- Transitions: Practice efficient transitions during training to minimise time spent in the transition area. Lay out your gear in an organized manner and rehearse the sequence of transitioning from one leg to the next.
After the Race
- Recovery Nutrition: Consume a mix of carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of finishing the race to aid in muscle recovery. Options include recovery drinks, protein bars, or a balanced meal.
- Stretching and Cooling Down: Engage in a cool-down routine to lower your heart rate and stretch major muscle groups to prevent post-race stiffness and soreness.
- Celebrate and Reflect: Take time to celebrate your accomplishment! Reflect on your race, acknowledge your achievements, and consider areas for improvement in future races.
Remember, race day is not only a physical test but also a mental challenge. Stay focused, trust your training, and believe in your abilities. Embrace the excitement, enjoy the journey, and give it your all. Good luck and have an incredible race!
How To Test?
To test your zones I look at 20 minute tough efforts in each discipline to calculate your threshold power, pace and heart rate. It takes some practice and the more you do it the easier it becomes to gauge effort.
I recommend retesting regularly, typically every 4-8 weeks depending on the athlete and their goals. This is a great way to monitor improvements and update your zones so your training progresses along with your updated fitness.
I have a training week available to purchase on Training Peaks for $4.95 using the link below, this will link to your sports watch and Zwift so you can test yourself easily at home.