The day before a triathlon is always a very busy one. There’s a lot to do and, if you aren’t well organized and if you don’t have a game plan, you can easily waste a lot of unnecessary energy. Here are my tips for having an efficient and stress-free race eve.
Make sure all your equipment is working well a few days (if not weeks) before the race, and not at the last minute.
Over the years, I’ve had many surprises the day before a competition, whether it was flat tires, mechanical problems, or gears that don’t shift properly. It’s never a good time to spend the day in a bike shop (and it happened to me quite a few times!). My suggestion is for you to stop by the shop at least a week before the competition, or at least before you leave for the race to make sure everything is working properly. Make sure your chain is not too worn and that your tires are in good condition. Also, make sure your gears are changing nicely with your race wheels (if you have a pair of training wheels and another pair for racing).
Do your activation in the morning.
The day before a race, I generally swim for 15 to 20 minutes, run for 15 to 20 minutes, and bike for about 45 minutes. The goal is to not only activate my body but also to make sure everything is in order. If I notice that my swimming glasses are broken or that my bike isn’t working well, it gives me the rest of the day to find solutions. Training in the morning allows me to have the rest of the day to relax.
Don’t spend too much time on the race site.
We like it, shopping on the race site and discovering all the newest gadgets, but the day prior to a race isn’t the best moment to do so! If you want to visit the retailers on-site, it’s best to do it after the competition, or two to three days before the event. The day before the race, you want to spend as little time as possible standing, especially in the sun.
Take the time to relax.
On race eve, we are stressed and excited, and we’re thinking about lots of things. We wonder if we trained enough, we think about our competitors, we worry if we forgot something… It can get really stressful and waste a lot of energy unnecessarily. That’s why I like to take some time to relax, whether it’s listing to calm music while stretching, watching Netflix, or going to the theater. I like going to the theater on race eves because it forces me to not think about the competition for an hour and a half or two hours. This is even more effective than listening to TV or Netflix in the hotel since it forces me to sit still and not look at my cell phone. Find an activity that relaxes you, whether it’s meditating, reading, or listening to a movie, and make it a pre-race routine.
The day before the race, there is nothing you can do that will help you perform better, but there are plenty of things that can hurt your performance. The key is to expend as little energy as possible and rest your legs as much as possible. There’s no point in constantly thinking about our competition. It’s important to stay zen and relax!
Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches
Director of Research and Development & Triathlete