If you look at the routine of any successful athlete, I think one of the first things you'd notice is the consistency. Once they find something that works for them, they stick to it. That goes from how they train, to what they eat, to how they prepare for race day. The key to a successful race day is to stick to your plan and what works for YOU.
My race day routine doesn't vary too much, regardless of the distance I'm tackling. The only thing that really changes is what I pack in my transition bag. If it's a short course race vs. a long course race, my running shoes will be different and I will pack socks if it's long course. Since I'm getting old and forgetful, I've started packing my bag the night BEFORE a race and then, because I have the memory span of a goldfish, I check it again in the morning.
Make up my race day hydration and put it in the fridge. Prep my breakfast. Check my bike tires and inflate if necessary. Pack up my handy Zoot transition bag with running shoes, socks (if using) cycling shoes, helmet, sunglasses, wetsuit, goggles and a change of clothes. I always leave certain items in my transition bag because I know I'll always need / use them and that way I won't forget to pack them on race day.
- Body glide
- Wet Wipes
- Gels / bars
- Race belt
Breakfast: usually overnight oats with chia, coconut flakes, almond milk + some sliced banana and maple syrup + a glass of water. I give myself ample time for my body to wake up and clear itself out, ha ha. We usually grab coffee en route to the race site. Unless it's Europe then we have time for a stay home leisurely morning coffee ha ha.
If it's a short distance race, then I'm racking my bike when I get there. If it's a half Ironman, then my bike is racked already and all I need to do is lay out my gear in transition. Once I've racked my bike, I check my tires again. I check my brakes because sometimes they rub on my race wheels. I then lay out my transition mat. Lastly I put my hydration in my aero bottle, put my race day nutrition in my bento box, if it fits. If not, I put some in my bento box and lay the rest beside my cycling & running shoes so I know to grab it when I go out for each leg. Once all of that is done, I take a look around transition to see what's around my rack. I look at where the bike & run exits are so I know which way to run after each leg.
Once my transition area is set up, I get into my wetsuit and do a swim warm up. The longer the warmup the better for me. I do some easy swimming, then I pick up the pace to get my heart rate up, then I go back to easy swimming. If I have a lot of time to kill before my wave goes off, I try to stay in the water as long as possible, especially if it's on the cool side. Then it's not so much of shock when I start swimming.
This is one area that I'm trying to get better at. When I get home, I usually have a recovery drink. I really like Genuine Health's Active Recover. When you mix it with vanilla almond milk, it tastes like a creamsicle. I've gotten MUCH better at post race stretching and foam rolling. After I got home and showered from Sunday's race, I immediately got on the foam roller for a few minutes. Later on that day I stretched and foam rolled again. I usually try to have an epsom salt bath if possible as well. I find that helps make me feel a bit better. I also tend to sleep better afterwards.
So there you have it. That's my race day routine! Head on over to the link up and check out all the other posts.
Join us again on September 8th for our next Tri Talk Tuesday. We'll be talking rest and recovery!