I competed in my first triathlon on Saturday, and I had a blast. The experience was similar to being in a really physical dance or theater piece. You rehearse really hard for months and then have one chance to perform your best in the three act show with two very quick costume changes. As with live theater, there are many unpredictable elements to the race and you have to be prepared to roll with the punches.
There are a few things I learned from my race day and I'm going to share them with you.
- Don't wear anything new on race day. Race day is not the time to break in new sneakers or bike shorts. Stick to what you know and what works. Familiar is always better.
- Similarly, don't try a new nutrition system. Race day is not the time to experiment with a new sports drink or to try a Clif bar rather than a Gu Energy Gel.
- If the course allows, stand up for the last 100 yards of biking before transitioning into running. Standing provides a nice stretch for the front of your hips and makes running much easier.
- If it is sunny and hot, wear a hat that breathes. Of course, it should be a hat you have worn before.
- Don't wear flip-flops to the beach before your swim. Chances are high you will forget to retrieve them after the race is over and losing flip-flops is always a bummer.
- If you are hot at the end of the race, cool yourself by jumping back in the water. Swimming for pleasure post race is one of the best rewards.
If you have any race day tips, share them in the comments section below.