To TRI or not to TRI, that is the question…
Like with trying anything new, nerves and ill-preparedness can get the best of you. Particularly with triathlons, half the battle is being a well-oiled machine. Without a distinct amount of organization, things can go horribly wrong, and out-the-window goes that new PR, beating that arch-nemesis, and/or most importantly, forgetting the initial reason any of us are out here – for fun!
There are numerous facets involved in this “well-oiled machine”. First - Equipment. A racer doesn’t need the latest and greatest to get the job done. Unless you have the means or are vying for a world championship, a functioning pair of goggles, a bike with gears and two wheels (pumped up of course!) and a pair of shoes without holes will suffice! One tri-tip is quick-laces. Being able to slide your shoes on without having to tie them will save you 15-20 seconds easy. That could be the difference between you and the podium!
Third – Knick-knacks. While these may also fall under equipment, these embody the grease that keeps your machine from squeaking! BODY GLIDE. Arguably the most important piece in my tri bag. Don’t be shy with this stuff either! Cake it on as you see fit and then a little more just to be safe. Chaffing is a triathlete’s worst enemy!
Fourth – Visualization. I find that rehearsing race day in its entirety the night before puts my mind at ease. It’s almost like I’ve already completed the race. A certain familiarity, even if it’s in your head, goes a long way. Plans can go awry, but if you’ve rehearsed the key components – i.e. T1 T2, specific turn-around’s in the course, places for a reprieve – then nothing will come as an incredible surprise on race day.