Pre race expectations
Your first triathlon should be about finishing, not time orientated. You’ll feel overwhelmed in transition when you rack your bike and lay down your equipment. Your head will spin. Expect a lot of testosterone flying around, genetically enhanced humans, shaved bodies, an air of arrogance, name dropping and typical triathlon war stories. Ignore all this. Your pre race expectations should be about finishing.
The order of things
When you arrive to the event pump your tyres up at the car. Saves carrying the pump into transition. Arrive in plenty of time. Check the race information to find out what time you need to register and what time transition will open to rack your bike and set your gear up. It’s your responsibility to arrive at the race venue with plenty of time to prepare for your race. If you arrive late, you may not be permitted to enter the transition zone and start the race.
Collect registration packet and timing chip. Put your number stickers on your bike and helmet. Wear your helmet fastened up as you enter transition otherwise the Nazis at the gate will shout at you! The volunteers do a great job, but they are really strict on this one.
Locate your bike row, usually numbered in age group categories and by the distance your competing. Make sure your bike is in the large chain ring at the front and the middle to small ring in the cassette at the rear. Rack your bike. Put your towel down and place your cycling shoes, runners with elastic laces (socks if wearing them), race belt and gel/s onto the towel in the order you’ll use them.
Rest your helmet on the bars of your bike with your sunglasses folded out inside your helmet. Put your drink bottles into the bike carries. Make sure your shoes are opened up so they are easy to slip into. Find a landmark for your reference point to locate your bike once you enter transition from the swim. Get familiar with the swim entry and bike exit by practicing entering the transition area from the swim.
Attend the race briefing….and listen to it! The race briefing will provide you with a refresher of the course and the rules and inform you of any last minute changes or advice.
Then wait until your wave start.
The waiting around will make you nervous…but that’s ok
There are the trained and the untrained who show up on race day. Despite your inexperience if you have applied yourself to a few months training then you’re ready. How well you’ll perform depends on many things, some within your control and some not.
Allow yourself to feel nervous. A little bit of nerves is s good, but don’t let your nerves impede your race. Get to the start early and complete a warm up swim. Make sure your goggles are fitted firmly and not fogging up. Assess the water conditions and position of buoys.
Line up at the back or side of the group to avoid the washing machine tumble start. The most nerve racking time is the countdown, “30 seconds….20 seconds…..10 seconds” and the horn sounds. You’re off and swimming.