Race day made easy

Race Day Made Easy

Race Day Made Easy –by Wendy Staines

There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared, so if you are a first time competitor or looking for advice on how to improve your performance, carry on reading……

The amount of kit you need for a triathlon is roughly the same as you need for a week’s holiday – from big stuff, like your bike and wetsuit, down to little things like sunglasses and goggles. “I always write a list of what I need before race day,” A non-exhaustive list is provided on the last page as an example

“I pack my bag/box the evening before the event, so everything is ready to go in the morning. This puts me in a relaxed state of mind.”

Minimising your transition

Preparation and organisation are everything, particularly when it comes to transition, the switch from one discipline to the next, where you can save – or waste – precious time.

Transition is also the name of the area where you set up your equipment, and to which you return after each leg of the race. The swim-bike transition is known as T1; the bike-run as T2. Here’s how to shave precious minutes off your time:

When you rack your bike in T1, look for a landmark that will help you locate it following your swim discipline. On entry to T1 from the swim the transition area will be a mass of bikes and colour so it will be hard to instantly locate your bike.

Ideally trace your approach from where you enter T1 from your swim to your bike location and repeat this 3 times.

You will also need to know where you’ll leave transition on the bike (“bike out”), where you’ll “bike in” and where you will “run out”. If there’s time, walk through it to get your bearings.

Transition 1 Set up

“Set your kit out in the order you’ll need it,” “Work out which direction you’ll be coming from after the swim, as this dictates which way round your bike and all your kit should be facing.” (Handlebars should face towards you, so you can steer straight out of transition.)

Wheel your bike by the saddle, not the handlebars, so the pedals don’t bash your legs.

Clip your bike shoes to your pedals and secure, so you can just slip them on once you are riding.

Leave your bike in an easy gear.

Racing Techniques

Swimming Discipline Open water

Apply baby oil around your calves, ankles and forearms before you put your wetsuit on, to make getting it off easier.

Start taking your wetsuit off as soon as you are out of the water.

Undo your Wet suit first before removing hat and googles keeping both hands free until wet suit is removed to the waist.

Pool swims remove googles and hat as you make your way to T1


Bike Discipline

Undo your bike shoes as you approach the end of the bike ride and slip your feet out. Then dismount barefoot, so you can run swiftly back to transition.

Use elastic laces in your running shoes so you can get them on quickly.



Eat about three hours before the race, so your body will be at its optimum energy level.

Start the race well hydrated by drinking little and often in the hours beforehand.

Take two drinks bottles on the bike in case you drop one.

Top up energy supplies during the race by carrying a sports drink


Key items on your list – What to take to race day

  • • Swimming Goggles x 2 pairs,
  • • Swim hat, bright
  • • Towel x 2 ( 1 for Transition and 1 for changing after the race )
  • • Talcum Powder
  • • Running shoes for Transition c/w with Race laces
  • • Flip flops to wear in the swimming pool area
  • • Glide gel, Vaseline, Baby oil – for the wet suit if open water swim
  • • Bike helmet
  • • Race Belt
  • • Hole punch to create hole’s in the number to go on the number belt
  • • Tri suit – Swim suit – Shorts and T –shirts ( if no Tri suit )
  • • Safety Pins
  • • Extra clothes if weather forecast is poor – bike top or wind proof
  • • Cycling gloves
  • • Bike glasses / Sunglasses
  • • Spare inner tubes
  • • Bike tool kit
  • • Puncture repair kit
  • • Bike pump
  • • Sunscreen
  • • Triathlon England Membership card
  • • All your nutrition required.
  • • Dry clothes for afterwards

You can download all of this information from the link below (pack a copy in your bag / box):

Tri Race Day made Easy 2017