For some of you, this may be your very first taste of a triathlon event. Just thinking about race day can be quite overwhelming. For others who have done a good few races before the nerves are still on alert, even if you are just doing it for fun. EVERYONE IS NERVOUS. Even those Pros racing are nervous – you are not alone.
We've highlighted a few tips that may go some way to helping with your pre-race prep – especially the newbies
Start your base now and build that over winter. As you get closer to summer, you will want to add some speed training sets into the mix to sharpen up. When there are two weeks to go to race day (unless you have done zero training thus far) you will not get that much fitter in the sense of endurance based fitness so don’t go and overkill training volumes with days remaining . At this stage, the less is more approach is probably the better one.
Don’t try anything new – if you have trained on something and are used to say, the run shoes you use/socks/helmet/nutrition and even bike, often changing for race day is not a great idea. Stick to what you know and all will be well – try the new stuff after this event
You also need to ensure you are well prepared well in advance of race-day, a checklist of sorts goes a long way to ensuring you are not running around the day before looking for odds and ends you may have forgotten to bring along. Here's what I use for my checklist:
- You will need a wetsuit. Water Temp will be in the regions of 12-14 degrees – buy that suit now and preferably with a neoprene hoodie to prevent ice-cream headaches. Getting used to a wetsuit takes time so use it in some of the pool sessions in the build up to the big event in September
- Helmet/Race Belt/Spare Swim Cap/Good Quality Swim Goggles/Run Shoes/Cycle Shoes are all part of the basic package. A roadworthy bike is also important as officials check this along with your helmet, so make sure all is up to scratch when you pitch for racing
- Bring vaseline or other for your neck to avoid the chafe from the wetsuit and possible other chaffing.
- Spare set of clothes for after the event. Depending on the weather, you may want to change into a dry set of clothing – we often forget about this and then wander around for hours in sweaty clothing
- Wear a watch. Thiss event runs race schedule guidelines so make sure you are at the bike check in and swim start well in advance of your swim start time. Avoid the panic and the stress levels will be under control – arriving late is not the best idea when you are nervous already
- Take note of those around you and do what they do. Quite often the rules and regulations seem somewhat stern but if you stick to the basics and do what the others do, it’s really very simple and easy
- A good warm-up before race start is important. Don’t dive in cold.
- Don’t panic at race start. If you are a nervous swimmer, stay on the sides and start slower – the faster swimmers will power away and leave you to some nice open water space where you can swim at your desired pace.
- Start the bike conservatively and try pick up the pace after 5-10km
- The run is also started a little easier within the first kilometre, after which you can go a little faster and see what you can do over the last remaining kilos.