Race Day Tricks by Coach Jenni

MY TRI TOP KEEPS RIDING UP!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • About 2″ of strips of velcro – the kind you have to sew on, not the kind with the sticky back. You can buy by length at JoAnn Fabrics. They should have white and black – maybe pick a color that blends well with your kit. But either works, as you won’t see the velcro when wearing.
  • 4 safety pins.
  • A needle and decently strong thread.

STEPS

  • Cut yourself 2 strips of velcro, about 1″ in length.
  • Get yourself 4 safety pins.
  • Put on your kit.
  • Pull the top down to where you would like it to comfortably be all the time.
  • Pull the velcro strips apart and safety pin them where you think they would work best, on both your shorts and then your top. It works best to put the hook part on the shorts and the fuzzy part on the top. By experience, the velcro should sit just about over the hip bone. The velcro on the outside of the shorts is about 3″ down from the top of the waistband, and the velcro on the kit top is just along the hem (on the inside), just inside the vertical seams that run along the sides of the front.
  • Safety pin all 4 pieces of velcro down.
  • Take off the kit, and then sew the velcro in place. You can adjust the pieces as necessary if they are super caddywhompus. By experience, the velcro on the shorts has a bit of an angle. The ones on the top sit right along the bottom hem. A basic whip stitch will tack down all the edges just fine.  (Thanks to athlete Jen B for this tip & these instructions).

 

WHAT SCREEN AM I LOOKING AT?

Before racing, it’s a good idea to double-check Garmin screens to make sure that you have set up your preferred race display, set up your preferred auto-lap and paired your HR strap and/or power meter.  You don’t want to spend time fiddling with your Garmin in the first few miles of the bike and wasting valuable time.

 

MY NAILS TORE A HOLE IN MY WETSUIT!

One at a time, put each foot in a plastic bag to ease step-in access to the suit.  Use lightweight gloves when pulling on your wetsuit to prevent fingernail tears in the delicate neoprene. Be sure to use four fingers to grasp the wetsuit to prevent tearing.  It’s a good idea to pack a wetsuit repair kit in your triathlon bag – there are many quick-drying gels available in case of a last-minute tear.  And be sure to use generous amounts of lubricant on your neck to prevent the suit’s collar from chafing – especially in saltwater swims.

HOW WILL I FIND MY GEAR IN TRANSITION?

If allowed (check each race’s rule book), tie a balloon to your transition rack or use a brightly colored towel to easily identify your place. On race morning, familiarize yourself with the transition layout by walking the “in” and “out” entrances and exits for the swim, bike and run. Toward the end of the swim, rehearse in your head what you’ll do when you reach T1. Likewise, toward the end of the bike, rehearse for T2.

I DIDN’T KNOW THE BIKE/RUN COURSE WAS SO HARD/HILLY!

Study the course maps and elevation profiles well in advance of the event so that you know what you will be up against on race day. A hilly bike course? Potentially technical trails on the run course? This can help you focus your training on the aspect of the race that will be most challenging to you, and can inform you of specific gear you might need, such as a different cassette on your bike or more stable shoes for the run.  On the day before the race, drive the bike course and ride the run course to find out what you are up against.

 

OH MY HAIR!

Pick one hairstyle. The last thing anyone wants to do is worry about my hair during the race and in transition. (Men, this one is usually easy for you).  For women, a low braided ponytail is often a good choice because it is easy to tuck into a swimcap, under a bike helmet and under a visor for the run. Figure this out BEFORE race day and practice on your longer training days.

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