Jess and I have a Sprint Triathlon exactly one week from today, and so this was our last day of intense training before we taper just a bit. What we did was a full-distance bike/run brick at race pace. Essentially what we were doing was simulating race day, and I learned some very important details that you will definitely want to keep in mind in your race prep too.
In order to alleviate any added stress on race day and to make things as smooth and enjoyable as possible, here are 4 things you’ll want to be proactive about and give them dry run before your race.
1. Test out your race day outfit
I started by picking out my race day running shoes. I picked out the socks I plan to wear. And then I chose my jammers. For the race, I’m not going to wear bike gloves so today I left them behind. I picked out my shades too.
As for my sock/shoe combo, it’s another nuance to be aware of. I used a brand new pair of Fitsock that are perfect for the bike shoes and my minimals, but discovered that they have too much padding for my form fitting Brooks and they gave me a hot spot, so I’ll stick with a thinner pair of Fitsoks.
Last was my shades. I love my VonZipper sunglasses in almost every situation, but when in the aero position, sweat from my brow would blow onto the inside of the right lens obstructing my view. Glad I found that out before the race!
2. Test out your fluids & fuel
I got my fuel and fluids for my bike which was 20 oz of water and 20 oz of pomagranate-berry cytomax…yum! I had a shot gel and a couple shot blocks on stand by.
It was a hot day and I ended up running out of water on the bike. During transition, I was so thirsty, I chugged half a quart of water and tried a new fuel pack before taking off. Turns out that I didn’t like the taste or texture of my fuel and drinking too much water at once gave me double side stitches for the first mile of my run! I should have been better hydrated before my ride, and it’s better to sip instead of slam the fluids. I also won’t be using that same gu on race day… yuk!
Jess however felt like she was spot on with her fuel and hydration. She drank a bottle of water and 1/2 a bottle of coconut water on the bike and ate 2 Margarita shot blocks (they have extra sodium) and she ended up running one of her fastest 5k’s ever!
So find what works best for you and stick with it. Even if you get free samples at the race expo, don’t use them on race day! Stick with what works.
3. Check your bike
Since the bike is the most vital piece of gear you need for a triathlon, it’s important to tune it up before each ride, and especially before the race.
I gave my bike a once over before my ride and I decided to tighten the left pedal just a touch. Jess’s bike chain needed some lube, so I oiled it up, pumped up our tires and we were ready to ride.
4. Train in the morning
We trained first thing in the morning because our race is early and it takes some time to get used to swimming, biking and running in the morning. Because of our schedule and the hot summer days, we usually train in the evening or at night, so for the past few weeks we’ve been transitioning to morning workouts. It hasn’t always been easy, but it gets easier and easier to wake up each time. Check out Jess’s tips for making morning workouts easier.
When is comes to race day, you want to have fun and enjoy it and I’m sure you do not want any extra uncertainty or frustration. So, the point here is that a little pre ravc prep time is vital.
As a recap, make sure your gear is squared away, you have your nutrition and hydration setup, and stick to your pacing strategy. Practice through your transitions and then don’t make any changes on race day.