By Nenad Rodic
posted 04/05

The most important day of the season is here.
Wake up early, at least three hours before the race. You should get into the habit of getting up early every day. I like to go for a 10 min jog right out of bed. Some people take shower. Whatever makes you go? Eat something right away even if you’re not hungry. Do not eat too much. Especially avoid solid food. Have some Cytomax preformance or Metabolol (500+ calories). These formulas are well balanced and easy to digest. Avoid dairy and too much bread. Definitely avoid sugar, or anything not balanced.
By now you should be on your way to the bathroom for the first time. It helps if this occurs in the hotel room since there are never enough toilets at the race to serve everyone.
Head to transition about 90 minutes before the race start. Set your things at your spot and start warming up. If you feel good right from the start do few pick ups on the bike or running and stretch. Do mainly dynamic stretching (arm-swings, body-twists etc.) passive stretching can cause your muscles not to fire properly (suposedly).
Make sure one more time that everything is in order at your transition spot (shoes on the bike, helmet too, running shoes, belt, hat, and what ever you may use in the race).


Photo 1

Best place for your helmet is on the handlebars so you can get to it and put it on while stepping out of your wetsuit.


Photo 2

Tie a rubber band to your shoe and the front derailleur cable on the right and rear wheel skewer on the left side. This way your shoes will be in horizontal position so you can step right into them or onto them and start pedaling.

Hang your bike by the seat so you can take it of the rack forward. This is easier and will prevent cranks going backwards and messing up the shoe position. Make sure the bike is in the proper gear, so you don’t fall over trying to pedal 53/11 uphill with your feet on top of your shoes.
Head down to swim start. Get in the water about fifteen minutes before the start and go four to five minutes easy freestyle. Do some vertical kick or kick on the side to warm up legs. I usually do four fifty stroke build swims with about one minute rest after that. Time the end of your warm up to about three to five minutes before the start. This will give you enough time for any psychological preparation you may want to do (visualization …) and keep the warmth from warm up. Get ready to race and wait for the gun.
For tips on swimming starts and tactics refer to open water-swimming tips in our specific triathlon training page.

By Nenad Rodic founder of Triathlonplace.com