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Race Day Tips

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.

Join The Conversation
triathlonbike triathlonbike 6 years
Helpful and awesome tips.
kia kia 9 years
Congrats on your TRI! Passion4Fashion, that is a great tip. It is funny to watch in practice, but effective.
Passion4Fashion Passion4Fashion 9 years
Congrats, Fit! my tips- 1) be sure to put your ankle band on your left leg so it doesn't hit your gears on the bike ride. also, 2) put a plastic bag on your foot/hand (need to bunch up the excess in your hand) to get your wetsuit on easier.
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
That's a great idea caenarvan. I have a friend who runs a lot. I should chat with her about it!
AMP AMP 9 years
Congrats, Fit!!
caernarvan caernarvan 9 years
Don't be jealous Ella! Do a triathlon relay! Every tri has the option to be done as a relay. one person swims, one bikes & one runs. I'm doing a 1/2 Ironman that way on Sunday. And it'll be so much fun! without being as massively challenging as usual. I'm doing the bike leg, and my friend is doing the swim & run. Then next month we're doing another but switching parts. I swim & run & he bikes. So much fun!
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
Congrats! Did you do the full triatholon, or did you do a mini? That is so awesome though. I'm jealous. I could do the biking and the swimming parts, but I'd fall short in the running, I jog sometimes but I am NOT a runner. Hope you had fun!
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
Congrats Fit!! My other tip: walk back and forth from the water exit to your changing spot a couple of times. When you are rushing around with a lot of people, and feeling that initial shock of coming out of the water, you might have trouble finding your stuff (i lost a couple of minutes wandering on my first tri)
emilita emilita 9 years
Congratulations Fit, that is awesome!
adelka adelka 9 years
Congrats, Fit :)
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Grats on doing a triathalon! I want to add: Get there early! There are so many people, that it can be confusing at times of where to go to register, where to get a number, where to get your chip, that rushing around before the race and being stressed out about those little things will only hinder your performance. So get there early, breathe and relax and walk around a little bit before the start of the race.
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