Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Do You Prepare For A Race?

Well, obviously I train. I swim, bike and run. End of post, thanks for reading.

I was asked this the other day. I know they were referring to the days leading up to a race. Which got me thinking, what are some of the things I do to get ready? I know that physically, I am ready. I know without a doubt that I can complete the distances of each segment of the race. So, I try to take a few days off, I try to not wake up at 5AM on those days, and I try to just relax. I think the biggest preparation that I have to make is to be prepared mentally.
But what does being mentally prepared mean? To me, it means that I have my game-plan set. It means I have thought through what I want to accomplish and I have confidence in my equipment. I understand things happen on the bike, but I know going in, I have everything ready for the race.

Other things I do to get mentally ready:

•I like to review past race reports. This really helps me to remember certain things about the race. Like, where the problem areas were for me? Was this a hilly course? Did I start too fast? After the race, did I feel like I went as hard as I could?

•I like to try and drive the course. Nothing makes me feel better than to know where certain points are along a course. Knowing the ins and outs of a course helps.

•I like to read race reports from other people. It gives me confidence to hear what other people thought of the race and reminds me of things I left out of my reports.

•Lastly, I review my times from the last time I did this race. I see my splits and I know I have had a good year of training. I know I am faster than a year ago, so this is how I set my goals.

The Dragonfly Triathlon is Saturday. It is a ½ mile swim, 18 mile bike, 4 mile trail run in Mississippi. (Follow the link for a course preview)I am looking forward to this race. Last time I raced it was 2008, when I finished in 2:00:48. 137th OA and 25/28 in my AG. I know, not good right? I am looking to bring my time down to the 1:40s. I have a new lighter bike this year and my swim times are better. My run has improved (last time I averaged 10:06/miles). I do not expect to podium or even be in the top of my AG, but I expect to hit my marks and goals!


  1. Good list! Do all of them too!

    I like to lay out all of me gear a couple of days ahead. And also prepare my nutrition ahead of time too. At least for the longer races.

  2. I do pretty much the same pre-race prep. Once I have done my prep though, I like to zone out. I'll usually do a project around the house that has fallen to the wayside during training. This helps me quit the doubts during the taper.

    Good luck at your race!

  3. Hi James,
    You have lots of great ideas for preparing for a race:) For me knowing the course is helps to look at it that way there are no surprises. Good luck on Saturday:)


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