Home > Feature

The pre-race mental checklist for every triathlete

EVERYONE, no matter how experienced they are, can still get the pre-race jitters.

Here are some Key tips to staying relaxed and focused leading into a race.

1) Rebuild your confidence:

  • Go back into your training log and look at the hardest workouts you have done.
  • Think about all the times you had to dig deep during training and racing. That stuff adds up!
  • Think about key moments in life where you’ve experienced success. Transfer that and envision your finish.

2) Be Prepared:

  • Make sure you know the race course. Check it out before and memorize key turns and markers.
  • Make sure you gear is good to go, then LEAVE IT ALONE. DON’T TINKER. RELAX!
  • Pack your bag the night before to make sure you don’t forget anything on race day.
  • Know what time transition opens and closes, and what time your wave takes off.

3) Have a race plan! Mentally prepare and visualize how you want your race to unfold:

  • How do you want to set up your bike and running gear to have an optimal transition?
  • What are you going to focus on at the start of the swim / bike / run?
  • When do you plan on taking in nutrition such as gels or your energy drink?
  • What kind of watts or pace do you plan to push?

4) Keep it simple:

  • Try to find a quick and easy meal the night beforehand. Don’t go to a new restaurant that could take forever to get your food.
  • Spend less time at the expo. Get in, get your stuff, check out the course, and get out.
  • Hydrate as you normally do, eat as you normally do. Don’t try to get fancy before race day.

Once you are all set and done, throw on the TV, sit back and relax. You have a big day tomorrow!

Christopher J Lee
Triathlon Coach at AJ Baucco Coaching LLC
Former Head Coach CU Boulder Swimming
NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
FMS Functional Movement Systems Lvl 1
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist