Surprise! It’s Triathlon race day and it may not go as smoothly as planned.
Although this is my 3rd summer racing triathlons I still feel like a newbie. While I am feeling more confident about biking and open water swimming there are still some things about triathlon that scare the %@!#& out of me. I have not gotten to the point where race day feels normal and there are often things that can happen during a race that surprise me and that may surprise you too on race day. Although being out of my comfort zone on race day can be unsettling I am also learning to embrace the challenge of it and the learning that comes along with doing something new.
Since you may be a newbie triathlete too I thought it might be helpful to share some of the surprises and missteps that I have made on race day that have slowed me through transitions and on the course. At times you may feel like you are fumbling your way through and perhaps that you don’t belong but then you remember why you are there and that race day is about your goal and even to just finish is a proud personal achievement!
5 Surprises for the newbie TRIATHLETE on race day
- You might forget to put body glide on before the swim resulting in a beautiful chafing ring around your neck at the end of the race.
- During the swim you will be surprised at how difficult it is to find a rhythm and a good breathing pattern. The swim feels like a blender full of bodies and you may get kicked in the face and have people swim almost right over top of you. The swim will not feel like your relaxed open water swims and be prepared to ditch your bilateral breathing.
- You will get sand/dirt/rocks and pebbles in your bike shoes due to running barefoot across the sand or dirt. You may also get more blisters due to your wet feet. To prevent this be prepared in your transition with a towel and something to take care of your feet after the swim.
- Despite all of your preparations getting your bike tuned up and ready to ride you WILL have your chain fall off or get a flat. Be prepared to fix it! You may be alone on the course. There are plenty of bike shops that offer clinics on bike maintenance, changing a flat etc.
- Don’t get off your bike to exchange bottles during the ride. Practice taking in hydration while on the bike and you can even practice the hand-off with a friend ahead of time so that you feel comfortable.
***Bonus Surprise: When you get to the run even though you may still have a long way to go you will feel like a success for surviving the swim and the bike! Use this positive feeling to propel you during the run!
What crazy surprises have you encountered on race day? Please share your stories!