You’re gearing up for the big day. It is almost here.
After spending the last however many months making sure you’ve trained right and that the race will go off without a hitch, you don’t want anything to mess it up in the days leading up to it.
Here are 9 tips to get you through that big day — from nutrition to hydration to sleep.
1. Start hydrating two days before the race (at least).
2. Don’t drink all water. You don’t want to water dilute your body’s electrolytes, so be sure to mix in some sports drink or even a soda in between. Super tip: Still got some long runs in your training? Practice your hydration strategies in the long runs beforehand so you know what works.
3. The golden rule of racing: NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY. Don’t try new nutrition, don’t try new gear. Always practice with it first.
4. Sleep. Chances are it will be hard to sleep the night before the race. So make sure you get a full night’s sleep two days before so you can at least have some sleep in your arsenal. Somewhere.
5. For a long triathlon (1/2 Iron or Full): drive the bike course beforehand. This might not always be practical because the bike course is very likely long and it will take a while (or you might not even have a car if you’ve traveled). But if you can, it will help you to navigate the day of the race. You can pick out landmarks that will give you a visual on how far you have left (which could be a good or a bad thing of course.) You’ll also be able to know which hills you have to tackle and where they are so you can leave something in the tank when you’re riding.
6. Carbo load doesn’t mean carbo-GORGE. Start eating more carbs two days beforehand but not in one big lump sum. Spread it out into easy payments throughout the day by eating rice, oatmeal, bread, pancakes, bagels, etc. (Things like that, not ALL of that…)
7. The most important pre-race meal is not dinner the day before the race but LUNCH. So eat a healthy lunch with carbs and some protein. And again, the “nothing new on race day” rule applies. If you’re not used to eating lots of beans and broccoli the day before a race or long run, don’t do it. Stick with what you know or you could end up a gassy mess.
8. If you’re traveling, find out what restaurants are around and look up the menus beforehand so you don’t have to drive around looking for something to eat. You can also see if you can make reservations because restaurants near the race course get packed the day before.
9. Find out what brand of nutrition (gels or sportsdrinks) the race is providing and if you don’t want to carry your own, use the brand the race is providing during your training. Remember: NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.
What is your race day prep advice?