Organic Runner Mom

Fresh Five. Five Triathlon Race Day Worries.

Organic Runner Mom's Fresh Five

My first Half Ironman Adventure will take place in mid August at the Timberman 70.3  Last night I realized that I have less than 3 months left to train for the big event. Eeek! Where did the time go? My training is going really well but as we shift into the summer schedule I am going to be juggling my training schedule a little bit more to fit in all of the required workouts from Coach Denise of The Sustainable Athlete. My kiddos will be a central focus this summer. We will be filling our time with adventures exploring New Hampshire, summer camps, reading, sports and more which I can’t wait for but without a regular schedule some creativity will be needed as I attempt to juggle the highest volume of training.

Since I tend to be some what of a worry wort. I am going to attempt to quell my anxiety about race day now by putting my top five triathlon race day worries out in the universe in the hope that you may be able to offer me some great advice to keep me calm as I attempt to swim, bike and run 70.3 miles! I figure that if I address these issues now, and practice then on race day I should be cool as a cucumber, right?

Top Five Triathlon Race Day Worries

It's time to calm my triathlon race day worries!

It’s time to calm my triathlon race day worries!

1. I worry that I will lose my good stroke/breathing sequence when I am swimming. When I swim freestyle in the pool I take three strokes then breathe and then repeat with breathing on the other side. This has become a comfortable breathing pattern for me in the pool and I feel that I have mastered bilateral breathing (finally!). Last year I was not able to do bilateral breathing so feel that I have made great progress in this area. I am worried that choppy water from the melee of swimming bodies or weather created choppiness will completely throw me off making each stroke less effective.

2. Getting a flat tire on the bike scares the $#it out of me! I have only ever gotten a flat on my bike when I have been riding with someone else who has been able to help me fix it. I suppose the best way to learn how to expertly change my tire is to practice, practice, practice. Do you use a hand pump for flats or bring CO2 cartridges and a shooter?

3. The longer a race gets the more difficult fueling is for me. My metabolism has always run at the pace of the Roadrunner so when I am at peak physical fitness I burn through fuel quickly.  With the swim being longer than in the Olympic Distance and not being able to fuel during the swim I am worried about bonking during the swim or when I get to the bike. I am guessing that my pre-fueling strategy will be key. Do you have any great tips for what to eat before a half-ironman or long distance race event that helps you to sustain and be able to continue to perform well?

4. Wetsuit chafing was an issue during the Lobsterman Olympic distance Triathlon that I did last fall. I got chafing around my neck and under my arms. What have you found works best in the water to prevent this type of chafing? There is nothing worse than getting in the hot shower that you have been dreaming of after your race only to have the hot water hit the chafing hot spots . . .  AIEEEEEEEEE! Any help in this department would be greatly appreciated.

5. I am worried about race day jitters. I am trying to take a new approach to racing and training in general to embrace the experience and to not put so much pressure on myself  but sometimes the nerves just creep in. Perhaps this summer I need to practice more visualization and meditation to not let my head get in the way. I need to do what I preach . . . trust my training and enjoy the experience on race day while of course giving it everything. How do you stay calm on race day and focus your energy on racing rather than on worry?

I’d love to hear all of your best tips for race day! The more you share the more we learn from one another. Happy training and racing!

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22 responses

22 responses

  1. I get some race days jitters as well. I try to remind myself that those jitters use up energy and I need that energy for the end of the race. I also try and visualize my nervous thoughts as someone outside of myself, like an unwelcome house guest in my mind. I have control over them and I can kick them out of my house anytime I’d like. I hear you about summer– I will be spending quality time with my kiddos too. I can’t wait.. only 9 more days of school for us! I’ll be sending you calm thoughts as you toe the line in August. xoxo

  2. I have zero tri tips for you BUT I know you will do very, very well. From my own race day prep I know that practicing all the “what-if’s” beforehand always help me calm down a bit. I’ve dealt with it before, I can deal with it again. And YES! to summer!
    Angela @ happy fit mama recently posted…I am…My Profile

  3. 1. Your swim pattern will get messed up. It’s going to happen. It’s part of a mass start, open water swimming, and sighting – just know it will happen but your practice will keep you going.
    2. Check out – I just had to deal with the flat tire thing :-). Use cartridges!
    3. HOO ha ride glide all over neck, arms etc to help with the chaffing and the wetsuit.
    4. On eating, just practice your pattern. The swim even for a half IM is not long enough to have you bonk if you eat beforehand. I usually don’t end up eating again until on the bike, but you can down something in T1, and then keep it up every 30/45 minutes.
    5. Ugh with the nerves! Don’t know what to do about that one!
    Good luck!!! Have fun!!

  4. Good luck, girl! I’ve never done a triathalon – it’s on my bucket list. But, I’d say just take a bit of time in the morning for yourself before the race – even if it’s 5 minutes to just breathe 🙂

  5. I wish I knew what to recommend for the chaffing – that sounds miserable! Have you tried body glide? It’s pretty awesome. I’m a terrible swimmer so the fact that you are even doing this is so impressive to me!! Good luck!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Step-Up HIIT WorkoutMy Profile

  6. So glad I finally made it over to read this! I did Timberman in 2013 and we also made it a family vaca. I’ve done everything including an Ironman and I still get race day jitters–even before a sprint! Timberman is beautiful and I am sure you will love it. My best advice on race day is to just be present and calm in the moment you are in. Best of luck and let me know if you have any questions about the race! I also have a race report on my site.
    Michelle recently posted…Stretch Your Running Muscles With 3 Simple StretchesMy Profile

  7. I always get nervous I’m going to have to pee 500 times during the race, so I make sure to go a million times before it starts! I’ve heard race day jitters are a good thing, though! they get your blood pumping and your adrenaline going. You’re going to be great!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…What to Wear to Summer BBQsMy Profile

  8. Best tip that was given to me and that I live by…”control what you can control”…So, I just shut my brain down to everything else and just attack it like any other “training day”…if I say…it’s just another swim…long bike…long ride…I won’t freak out. Now the Open Water…that takes a bit more to shut my brain down but I manage.

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