What do you do before the race? Your state of mind matters, both before and during, a race. As life can attest, emotions can upset our thinking faculties. Conserving energy and banishing energy-sapping activities can help prime you on race morning. Here are some quick tips to engage your ‘Centre’. Nothing new yet reinforcement matters if you tend not to heed your own plan. Fail to plan, and plan to fail.
1) Prepare your race-day kit early (two days, at least). One-piec eor two-piece race-gear, Race-bib/belt, heart-rate monitor/strap, shoes (bike/cleats, running), nutritional support (mainly carbohydrates and electrolytes), and towel (to wipe away crusty sand from your naked feet).
2) NO NEW CLOTHES, SHOES or FOOD.
3) Check-in and rack your bike earlier in the day. Remove things that may go missing or spoil overnight (speedometer, CO2 cylinders, nutritional powders, etc.).
4) Have your bike serviced a week before, and test-drive it to assess any inconsistencies.
5) Never shave (your face or legs) the day before a race. Sweat and seawater may sting your skin and cause discomfort.
6) Test your goggles for leaks. Bring another a spare, just in case.
7) Lay out your pre-race meal and race nutrition. Eat only what you are used to, and bring more than enough. Nothing new on race day.
8) Keep a tube of skin-saving lubricant, and apply before the race on the parts of your skin that tend to crease or get rubbed.
9) Bring three bottles of water (one for rinsing) and remember to load it into your missile-proof cage.
10) Do some mild activity, but nothing lengthy or strenuous. Run in hip-level water and visualize your race. Swim for 10 minutes in a pool or the sea. Spin on a stationary-bike. Keep your muscles activated and not lazy.
Attending the pre-race brief helps allay concerns about routes, number of laps, rules and inspection process. Photo-credit: David Ong