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5 Simple Tips to Make Your Next Tri a Success

Published June 28th, 2011 in BAMFing, Just B

When it comes to advice for triathlon, most people know that you have to have a plan for training and nutrition, and that you should never try anything in a race that you haven’t done in practice. The following five tips are race day specific tidbits I’ve picked up along the way. Some are just common sense, others I learned the hard way…

1. Always have a race day checklist! …and check it twice! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to rescue someone who forgot their goggles, or race number belt, or even worse, their bike helmet! Having a checklist will help you remember everything you need for a successful race, and will ensure you have a stress free set up in the morning. Certain items are obvious, like your bike, but other things like a garbage bag to put all the wet stuff in at the end, or extra toilet paper just in case… are great things to have on your list. *Note: have an extra pair of goggles too…

2. Goggles go on first with your swim cap over them! If you’ve ever experienced a triathlon swim, or just watched from the shore, then you know it can get rough and tumble sometimes. If you inadvertently get hit in the face by a hand or foot, getting your goggles knocked off can totally destroy your race before it even gets going. Having your goggle straps under your swim cap prevents you from losing them in that scenario. All it takes a brief moment to readjust them and you’re right back in the action!

3. Always rack your bike by the seat with the front wheel facing out to start. Then re-rack the bike by the brake levers when your return to transition for the run. This one is simple. You want to be able to just grab your bike and go without having to turn it around in the usually tight spaces of transition. The same is true for when you return. Racking by the brake levers in T2 saves you the time of turning the bike around again!

4. Speed Laces & Anti-friction lotion are your friends. You don’t want to waste time tying laces in T2, or putting on socks. Elastic speed laces with zip ties are super quick! Just slide your foot in, cinch it tight and you’re off. The anti-friction lotion is the answer to your blisters! Do you really want to take the time to put socks on wet feet?? You can use Bodyglide, but it’s hard to fit the deodorant style stick inside your shoes. So, anti-friction lotion, or chamois cream, (the same type you use for your cycling shorts) works great! Even Aquaphor can do the trick. Just slather it inside your running shoes at all the known hotspots and they’re good to go! It also works well in bike shoes…

5. Stay in the moment! This last tip is the hardest, but I believe the most important. No matter how much you plan, including all the above advice, something will inevitably go wrong. How you deal with it can make or break your race experience. If you FREAK OUT, your race will essentially be over, but if you stay cool, you’ll be ok and be happy crossing the finish line. Most things you can actually prepare for like the goggles being knocked off, or a flat tire. I once went through two tire tubes before my race even started! I didn’t have another spare, but I knew that there’s always a mechanic at every race that can help me out. I had it fixed in time and all worked out ok. Just understand that these are temporary setbacks, stay calm and correct them as best you can, and keep moving forward.

I hope these tips will give you some peace of mind come race day. My last bit of advice is to just go out there and try your best, and above all, HAVE FUN!!

Coach Jeff

Category: BAMFing, Just B