Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday: Race Day Plan!

It's another Tri Talk Tuesday linkup, with Cynthia at You Signed Up For What  and Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles

This week is all about your Triathlon Race Day Plan.

Personally, I think that a race day plan needs to be broken down into different phases: the logistics of before and after, the race elements, and the visualization that prepares you for both. 

  • Part One: Logistics
This should be the easiest part: how do you get you (and all your stuff) to the race, and home again. This is the "print your maps to the expo, make sure you have your ID, bring your phone or make a meetup after plan" part. I can see how this can easily become stressful if you don't prepare properly, so start thinking a week or so in advance! 

  • Part Two: Think it through

This is the guts of your race: nutrition, pacing, transitions, and milestones on the course. A few weeks out from a race, I start pulling up the race maps, taking assessment of how I feel, and forming my actual race plan. This mainly involves pacing. I'll set overall goals for each segment and, if it's a long race, break down the bike into shorter segments. 
Once I have an idea of how I plan on exerting myself, I think out a fuel plan: do I want to refuel mostly on the bike? What water stations are there? Will it be super hot? What do I need before the start? Where do I need to keep my gels? 
I also start planning how I'll set up my transition area, and what I need to pack: do I need socks? Do I need my wetsuit? How many gels/water bottles am I bringing? 

  • Part Three: Visualize 
Of course, besides physically practice things like the transition, it's important to start visualizing all of these little elements. What do I do in transition: will I see my gels, or will I forget them? How about that bike course? Sit down with a bike course video, if they have one, and visualize how often you'll be switching gears. How hilly is the run course? Do you know of a particular part of the run (say, mile 4?) where you know you'll hit an emotional wall and want to quit? Do you need to bring chocolate to avoid that, or will there be crowd support there? 

The most important thing, I think, is to just have some sort of plan before going into a race! Even if it's, run really hard and drink a bottle on the bike, that's better than going in with nothing! My awesome husband always makes me talk through my plan the night before, and usually while I'm waiting for my swim corral. It might be because he's tired of hearing me ramble, but it does help! 

What do you think are the most important parts of a race plan?

1 comment:

  1. Great advice, thanks! I'm going to take your tip and think about the bike in shorter segments for my big race - 56 miles should be broken down. Thanks for linking up!