With the Aevitas Triathlon coming up THIS WEEKEND(!), we thought it would be a good time to go through some tips for a successful race day! The guide below can be used for any athletic endeavor (think: half marathon, OCR, local CrossFit Competition), and is our go-to strategy for smooth sailing on event day!
Wait, you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know about the Aevitas Triathlon?! Get all the details right HERE, and come cheer on your favorite Aevitans this Sunday!
The Day Before
The day BEFORE your event is really where all the secret sauce is. This is your day to set up your physical and mental state for the big event.
Nutrition-wise, today’s the day to make sure your food (and water) intake is on point! Prioritize fueling your muscles with lots of vegetables, some fruit, and healthy protein sources. And don’t shy away from the carbs today. No need to “carbo-load” necessarily, but if you are hungry for carbs, by all means, add them in!
Today is NOT the day, however, to try out a new restaurant or indulge in super-rich foods or desserts, especially if you’re prone to digestive issues. What you eat and drink today is going to prime your body for all the work it’s going to do tomorrow. So treat yourself with care and fuel fully!
For hydration, make sure today to get plenty of water in your body, to help digest all that delicious food, and to help the rest of your body recover and prepare for tomorrow
The Night Before
We’re huge fans of leaving stress behind us, but that’s not always so easy. Especially if tomorrow’s event is something new for you! Here are some ways that help us relieve stress the night before a big event:
First, gather EVERYTHING you are going to need for the event. Extra water bottle, snacks (more on those below), change of clothes (or two). Get all of your gear out and get it in one spot, so when you leave tomorrow you don’t leave anything behind. For any event, you’ll probably want to consider the following:
- Wearable tech (smart watch, etc) – make sure it’s fully charged!
- Event clothing/gear (for a triathlon: swimsuit + goggles + towel, bike + helmet + biking apparel, running apparel + shoes/socks)
- A change of clothes and shoes for after (more than one if you’re doing a CF competition!)
- Extra water bottle (possibly with hydration tablets/powders, read below)
- Some easy snacks for during or after (see below)
- Mini first-aid kit (think: a few band-aids, an ice pack, OTC pain reliever, balm for any cuts/scrapes/chaffing, sunscreen, safety pins)
- Any registration materials you already picked up
Once you have everything together, take a little sigh of relief! You now know that no matter what happens in the morning (you snooze the alarm, the coffee maker breaks, etc) you at least won’t be running around trying to find all of your event gear.
Try your best to stick to your “normal” nighttime routine. While some extra relaxation practices may help, you don’t want to stray too far from what your body is used to. The only caveat to this is if you have to get up earlier than usual for the event. In that case, try to shift your nighttime routine to earlier, instead of skipping or changing it completely.
Here’s an example of our semi-regular nighttime routine:
- Eat dinner & feed the dogs
- Set up anything needed for tomorrow (this is when we’d go through the checklist above)
- Set out clothes to leave the house in the morning
- Relax with TV, books, etc.
- Take the dogs out one last time, then lights out!
On the eve of an event, we may find we have less time for the “relax” part, but if it’s our normal habit, we won’t skip it altogether we’ll just shorten the duration. If we’re feeling extra stressed, we might make a cup of tea to enjoy during that wind-down time (a small cup! no need to pee all night!)
One last thing, especially if you’re waking up eariler than normal: set your alarm before you’re heading to bed. Get it done and out of the way. Two alarms might be better than one if you’re nervous! And set your alarm so you have a little extra time in the morning for your nerves to start kicking in…
The Big Day!
Hopefully, with yesterday’s prep, you’re feeling ready to take on your big event!
Try to get up a little bit earlier than you think you “have” to on event day. It will help lower your overall stress, and will allow for unexpected things to happen without screwing everything else up!
If you have a standard “morning routine”, we also suggest that you stick to that at least somewhat closely, as this will allow your body to remain calm and wake up like it’s used to.
The big item for today is FOOD! What do you bring? How much?! Largely, that will depend on the type and duration of your endeavor today. But some general tips for food/drinks:
- Keep it simple! Simple to carry, simple to eat, and simple to digest.
- Things like fruit, Fuel For Fire packs, protein bars or balls, sports drinks (or electrolyte tablets/powders to add to a water bottle) are all good options
- Stick with what you know!
- Just like last night, today is NOT the time to go experimenting with new snack items. Ain’t no one got time for digestive distress on event day!
- Water, water water!
- Bring something refillable if you know you’ll be able to fill it. Otherwise, pack a few water bottles/other drinks to get you through multi-hour sweaty events
We always pack a lot of food with us. Sometimes, that means we overdid it. Other times, we’re thankful to have brought extra because we go through it faster than we had planned. And then there’s always the ability to share with others who may not be as totally prepared as you are 🙂
Lastly, (and most importantly) – Have Fun!
You may have been training for this event for quite some time. So try your best to celebrate that effort and see what your body can do!
When you arrive at the event venue, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re doing something fun, that you’ve worked hard for, and that you’re as prepared for as you’ll ever be. Then go out there and crush it!