In the words of this woman, "Luck favors the prepared" Here is the information that helped me through my first triathlon. I found it in lots of places, but a most of it came from stuff I found at BeginnerTriathlete.com; my apologies for not being able to credit all the incredible people who made this list possible. I hope it helps. RACE WEEK Training This isn’t the time to do long, hard runs and rides. Reduce your volume by about 30 percent. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the race, warm up, then do some steady, short efforts that bring you up to race speed. Take Thursday off altogether. The day before your race, exercise enough to break a sweat, 15 to 20 minutes Sleeping Concentrate on getting some good rest the entire week. It's going to be hard to sleep the night before, but one night's deficit will not hurt much. One week of less-than-ideal sleep will. Eating/drinking Do not skip meals race week, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate throughout the week. Don’t eat a late-night meal the night before the race. Equipment check At least 2 days before, pump tires, and go over your bike thoroughly. Are your goggles leaking, or do they suck? GET NEW ONES RIGHT AWAY!!! The night before Pack your stuff. Make a list of your strengths and why you are doing this. Essential items for your race bag:
RACE DAY Early bird gets the worm Know where you’re going, and give yourself time to get there. Get to the race early! There may be lines up to 90 minutes before the event. Find a good spot to rack your bike equidistant from where you need to run in and out. Attend the race briefing If you are new, then the race briefing is essential. It tells you what to expect during the race, and small changes that may have occurred. It also goes over the courses again - which can be confusing especially if more than one distance is being run simultaneously.The expo Walk around and get into the spirit of the race. Transitions Walk from the swim finish to the transition entrance to your bike. Walk from your bike to the bike transition exit. Walk from your bike to the run exit. Do it again Properly and effectively laying out a transition areaLay out your transition area on your bed the night before to ensure you have everything. Bring a sports bag to pack gear into the triathlon venue. Also, a small collapsible ice chest for hydration is helpful. Try to get on the outside end of bike racks – there’s more space, and it’s easier to find your bike. Find out local rules –can you leave a bag or an ice chest in the transition area? The set-up I did or wish I had done:
Other pre-race preparation Warm up and stretch -- enough to break a sweat and get the blood moving to your muscles. If you can, jump in and swim a few laps so you’re not jumping in cold. Stay warm in-between -- throw on a sweatshirt or warm fleece jacket that you can hand off to a friend before you jump in. Relax and wait Use the time to warm up, then find a quiet place to read or listen to music. Warm up and stretch again before you start your race. Sip on water, but don’t overfill yourself -- take in about 6 oz. H2O. A WORD ABOUT NUTRITIONDay before the race Avoid all types of caffeine and alcohol--careful with energy drinks, most have caffeine. Focus on full hydration. Get urine as light in color as you can. Take in mostly complex carbohydrates, at least 100-200 grams before you go to bed. This makes sure glycogen stores will not be totally empty in the morning. If you take in too many calories, your body will convert the excess to body fat On the morning of your race Drink enough water to make up for non drinking hours of sleep. Get in another 100-200 grams of complex carbohydrates. As the day goes on, every 3-4 hours have another 100-200g of complex carbs. Make sure your last meal is 3-4 hours before the race. If you need carb calories closer than the 3 hour mark and your last meal was longer than 3 hours ago, sports drinks will work; you can sip that up to 15 min. before the race. If race lasts longer than 45 min. pick up sports drinks and water as you go. Post race Sports drinks are perfect for a quick post race recovery. I mixed mine with two scoops of whey and was really glad I did--absolutely perfect! Potassium is lost in sweat -- bananas are a great source for that. When you get home, eat a balanced meal of complex carbohydrates and protein. Replenish your glycogen stores and rebuild the muscle you broke down. Decide if you are going to fish or cut bait, then DO IT!