But whether it’s a running race or a triathlon, try a bit of pregame play. Pack a race bag, and then go outside in your driveway to get ready to leave. Do you need to go back inside for anything? Make a note so you don’t forget whatever you needed come event morning.
For a triathlon, practice, practice, practice for transitions. Set up stations in your driveway and, even if you don’t have a pool, put on all of your swim gear, soak yourself with the garden hose, and run into transition and hop on your bike, do a quick spin, then come in and switch to running gear. Putting on shoes while frazzled and wet, remembering to spray sunscreen, running with your bike — these are all skills that need to be practiced so you’re not just standing like a statue, panicking in transition on race day.
THEN, WRITE DOWN ALL THE PERTINENT DETAILS IN YOUR CALENDAR: DO YOU NEED TO PICK UP YOUR RACE NUMBER THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE, OR CAN YOU GET IT THAT DAY? IF IT’S A TRIATHLON, WHEN DOES TRANSITION OPEN, AND WHEN DOES IT CLOSE? KNOWING HOW FAR THE VENUE IS FROM YOUR HOUSE CAN BE HELPFUL WHEN WRITING OUT A TIMELINE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE GOING WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS. ALSO NOTE WHAT THE RACE IS PROVIDING: WILL THERE BE WATER STOPS, OR SHOULD YOU PLAN TO BRING YOUR OWN HYDRATION AND NUTRITION?
FOR A 5K RACE, FOR EXAMPLE, PACK TWO PAIRS OF SOCKS, YOUR FAVORITE SNEAKERS, SAFETY PINS FOR YOUR NUMBER, TWO PAIRS OF SHORTS, A SPORTS BRA AND TANK TOP, MOLESKIN FOR BLISTERS, A CAP, A FEW BARS FOR SNACK EMERGENCIES, A RAINCOAT, SUNSCREEN, BUG SPRAY, A FEW WATER BOTTLES, BABY WIPES FOR POST-RACE CLEANUP AND A PAIR OF SWEATS TO TOSS ON IF IT’S CHILLY IN THE MORNING. AND, YES, EVEN IF YOU WEAR SNEAKERS TO THE RACE, PACK A SPARE PAIR. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.
HAVING THAT EXTRA TIME MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE FOR YOUR NERVES. THIS IS ALSO IMPORTANT IN A TRIATHLON: HAVING TIME TO SET UP TRANSITION BEFORE IT GETS SUPER-CROWDED IS MUCH MORE RESTFUL THAN CRAMMING YOUR STUFF INTO AN ALREADY FULL RACK.
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TOO NERVOUS TO EAT BEFORE A RACE, AND IF THAT’S YOUR CASE, NIBBLE ON SOMETHING THAT’S HIGH IN EASILY DIGESTED CARBS, LIKE A BAGEL OR A GEL. BUT AGAIN, IF YOU HAVE NEVER EATEN A GEL, DON’T START TODAY. A FEW WEEKS OUT FROM YOUR EVENT, START DOING SOME RACE-MEAL SIMULATIONS. GET UP AT THE TIME YOU’LL AWAKE ON RACE MORNING, EAT YOUR IDEAL PRE-RACE MEAL AND HEAD OUT ON A SIMILAR-TO-RACE-PACE RUN. (NOT THE FULL DISTANCE — EVEN A MILE OR SO SHOULD GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW THE MEAL FELT.)
POST TAKEN FROM: BUZZFEED
The Howth Challenge Series