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10 race day tips

Summer has arrived and with its arrival the domestic race calendar is set to begin

Credit: Irene Ying

As the domestic race season gets underway, here are some race day tips for the first time racer to the seasoned veteran.

  1. Sleep. It is widely publicized, but sleep is so important for leading a healthy life. It’s effect cannot be underestimated, especially prior to a race. Less sleep leads to the increased possibility of fatigue, something we want to avoid when competing. It also lowers energy levels and decreases focus. So especially int he weeks before a race, make sure you are on top of your sleep schedule, so you are able to recover and maintain your energy.
  2. Arrive early. Try to get to the race site early. By getting there early you are able scout out the race course, have ample time to check in and set up your station in transition. Grab a light bite to eat. As well as socialize with other competitors.
  3. Transition set up. So, because you arrived early, you how have time to get your transition site all set up. Remember to follow the instructions in the race packet for placement of numbers on bike, helmet and jersey. Rack your bike by the saddle. Place helmet in a convenient spot. Place a towel on the ground with shoes, hat, sunglasses, and any sport bars or gels you want to have.
  4. Be familiar with routes. Take the time if you haven’t to look at any race maps. Note the roads, direction of movement, and any technicalities of the course.
  5. Be familiar with the rules. Is the race draft legal or illegal? Remember to put helmet on before grabbing bike. Make sure to place all your gear ‘neatly’ in your transition area. Make sure race numbers are visible and in assigned places.
  6. Warm up. Take the time to do a good warm up. Depending on your warm up preference, this will vary differently for each competitor. In general though it is a good idea to follow this structure for your warm up; activation, light aerobic activity with some race pace accelerations, followed by dynamic stretching.
  7. Take a deep breath. As the race start approaches your bound to feel a few butterflies. This is normal and completely nature. Before the gun goes take in some deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out the mouth. Take this time to settle down your thoughts and just relax.
  8. Pace yourself. Once the gun goes off, be aware of your effort… as best you can. We all fall victim to going out to hard and then paying for it later in the race, especially for the first race of the season. Try to save a little bit left for those final kilometres of the run.
  9. Call your pass. On the bike be aware of your surrounds. When passing make sure to call your pass metres in advance. This is to ensure safe of not only yourself but the rider your passing.
  10. Enjoy the atmosphere! Triathlon is a great community of individuals all looking to lead healthy active lives. Take the time before, during and after to enjoy the environment.