Race preparation is key to success in any event, whether it’s your first, second or just another to add to your expanding list. As you are spending 8-12 weeks preparing for this event you owe it to yourself to top it off with perfect race preparation. Just knowing your way around transition and looking at the swim, bike and run courses can make a big difference.
Think about race preparation within a timescale. Assuming you have put in the training hours, these are the things that now need to be considered:
Race day minus 3-4 weeks (min)
Make sure your bike is in a good state of repair and sort it out now if it isn’t.
Decide what you are going to wear on race day and train in it
If you decide to buy any new shoes, goggles etc. do it now and train with them
Do you need nutrition products during the race? If so, try and test them.
Race day minus 1-2 weeks
Read through the race information if you have it. Usually organisers put course maps and details on their websites well in advance of the race.
Visit the race venue and know how to get there, how long the journey takes, where to park etc. is parking free or do you need to pay?
Ride the bike route or it you are limited for time, at least drive it
Make sure you know if you need to do more than one lap and perhaps make a plan to help you remember how many you have done (small bars of tape placed on your handlebars for each lap before the race, one removed each time you do a lap).
Walk or jog the run route & know how many laps
Speak to people who have done the event before to gain knowledge
Taper your training
Race day minus 2-3 days
Check the bike again
Lay out your race kit and separate what you will need to place in transition
Check the weather forecast as this may affect what you wear or even what bike you take (if you are lucky enough to have a choice)
Get some early nights, eat and drink well and be rested for race day.
Race day minus 1
If you are travelling the day before don’t leave it until last thing. Go early so you are at the venue in plenty of time to look around, register if you need to, eat and have an early night.
If you event is local, pack everything ready to put in the car. Have your race kit ready to wear.
Final bike check. Pump tyres, check brakes & gears
Have a good, normal breakfast a couple of hours before
Leave early enough to allow time to register, rack your bike and set up transition. Allow an hour for this minimum.
Check the exits in and out of transition.
Know where your bike is racked. Unfortunately the days of attaching a helium balloon to the rack to mark your position are gone!
Check the swim location and assembly point
Check your start time just in case there have been changes – it happens
Thirty minutes before your start time, get ready – wetsuit half on
Revisit transition for a final kit check
Go to the swim start
Also, make a list of what equipment and clothing you will need for race day: