I work better under the pressure created by a deadline, so I like to think of races as deadlines. They provide set goals and training plan — I love a schedule. If you're the same way, whether you're competing in a triathlon, a half or a whole marathon, I have a little tip: use your long workouts as dress rehearsals. Wear the clothes, down to the socks, that you plan to wear on race day. This way you'll know what works and what rubs. Make sure to test your nutritional regimen too, from the pre-meal dinner to sports gels for during the race. Race days tend to be a little bit crazy, and your adrenaline will likely be pumping. Having put your gear through trial runs, you can focus on making it to the finish line rather than futzing with your new shorts.