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Triathlon Top Tips for Race Day

 Taking part in your first triathlon race can be a daunting prospect and honestly, taking in your second and third can still be a little nerve wracking. With three different disciplines to think about and the thought of racing against a large number of experienced triathletes, it’s natural to be apprehensive of what to expect on the day. We’ve come up with our top 10 tips for Triathlon Race Day to ensure your fully prepared and there aren’t any nasty surprises on the day.

Plan and Practice your shifts

• Planning the way in which you will shift from running to swimming to cycling can be the most helpful exercises you can carry out before a race. On the day it will be chaos – there could be hundreds of you fighting to get to the front. Practising how you change over do each discipline will not only allow you improve on your time but also eliminate any panic on the day when you have mere seconds to change and will prevent having angry racers waiting behind. Also ensure you keep note of where you keep your bike and keep this in your head as you finish the swim. You may also want to put something on the bike that makes it stand out to you so you can spot it easily. •Familiarize yourself with the course. There will usually be a meeting prior to the race which will give you a basic guide to the route however, you may want to become even more familiar with the course by practising on the course the day before or driving some of the routes. This will allow you to note any obstacles on the route that may pose a risk such as holes and bumps in the road or sharp corners and bends. •Practice changing a flat tyre (you never know when you might need to) At some point or another you are going to have to change a flat in the middle of a race. It would be very unfortunate in your first race but not unheard of, so practising changing both tyres and timing yourself to improve your speed will put your more at ease on the day and ensure you are fully prepared.

Things to take with you on the day

• Two pairs of goggles – conditions may be nice and sunny when you start but the weather can be very unpredictable so we recommend taking a clear pair and a dark pair just in case. Also make sure you get snug fitting goggles which can’t easily be knocked off. • Lubricant – Chances are, if you’re not used to wearing a wet suit, your going to experience some chafing. Areas such as the neckline, ankles ,calves and groin tend to be the most prone areas so applying lubricant will ease the friction and ensure you feel comfortable on the day. Simple Petroleum Jelly will do the job. • Sun protection – If you are racing in the summer the heat can sometimes be unbearable to race in so taking a hat and glasses and ensuring you wear sun lotion with a SPF of at least 15 will again ensure you are comfortable on the day and that you don’t receive any nasty burns that you’ll regret the next day. • Nutrition – during the race, you're energy levels will run down, and you will need to refuel – There will most likely be aid stations along the way but you may find it easier and more beneficial to bring your own. This may be in the form of endurance gels and Electrolytes or you may even want to take a little snack. • Hydration – it is so important to keep hydrated whilst running to replace what you’ve lost. Sugary drinks can be beneficial to keep your energy levels up however it may be more sensible to alternate water with drinks like Lucozade and Powerade in order to stop you from experiencing a sugar crash half way through. Firstaid4sport bottles are bright and easy to spot. • First Aid – it is important that you take some form of first aid along with you just in case of those little trips and falls. Of course if you feel you have really injured yourself you must stop immediately however for a small graze or cut, having some plasters or a bandage handy will allow you to carry on without discomfort. A personal sized first aid kit is a great solution as it is small enough keep on you belt or bike. Don't forget to enjoy it!