Top 10 Things to Remember for Your Next Race


Posted by Coach Jay Weber

When people are getting ready for a race, there are often things leading up to the race that are forgotten or overlooked, particularly with the early season races when we are all a little rusty. When it comes to the actual race, people forget that as bright as we all are, when you are under pressure, all intelligence leaves the room. As a great coach once told me- on race day you become the rocket, not the rocket scientist.

At its core, what this means is that everything comes down to muscle memory. Be sure you have established and consistent race day processes that you can trust. 

Here are the top 10 items to think about prior to race day, as well as during the race:

  1. Know the course- As stated as part of rule 3.4 in the USAT competitive rules manual, it is your responsibility to know the course. Preview the course, and know it. Volunteers are great to have, but they can make mistakes. If you know the course you won’t need them there!
  2. Know the nutrition on course- either bring your own or practice with what they have on course. Trying new items on race day can be ok, but it can also lead to disaster.
  3. Everything will take longer- The line at the porto-potty, parking, getting into transition, seeing your friends, if you think it will take 20 minutes, it will take at least 30. Give yourself extra time.
  4. Know a bit of history of the race- Does it get hot? Is the water wetsuit legal? While it can be extreme from year to year, typically races have similar race history. Races like Vineman 70.3, Ironman Texas, and Lavaman are typically right on the border for wetsuits. Prepare for both scenarios.
  5. Prepare for the unexpected- While races have their history there are also situations that can come out of the blue. Ironman Whistler in 2015 was an unseasonably cold and windy day. Plan ahead for anything!
  6. Bring your ID with you to the race site- This helps checking in on the day of, or the day before. If you are prepared, you won’t have to trek back to your car.
  7. Know the rules- It is your responsibility to know the rules to avoid committing a foul.
  8. Know how to change a tire- In larger races, there is course support, but you never know where they will be. Don’t plan on them being around you to help change a tire. Know how to do it, and be ready in case it happens.
  9. Race your race- While you might want the PR, or to beat your friend, you’ve done your own training, and have your own plan. The more you stray away, the more issues can arise.
  10. Have fun! Remember at the end of the day, that while it hurts. We’re doing this for fun! Enjoy it (as much as possible). Thank a volunteer for making the race better!

Even if you are as prepared as possible, things can arise. Shake them off and remember there's always another race!

~ Coach Jay

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