Despite checking and rechecking an exhaustive race day checklist (and visualizing a successful race beforehand), you will definitely forget about these 10 things going into your next triathlon. When it happens, smile, laugh it off and just keep swimming—or cycling or running.
To Pack Lube2 of 11
While it may seem harmless, chafing (like paper cuts) can be exceptionally painful. Once you get a hot spot, your form will naturally change to alleviate the rubbing, and your splits will suffer for it. Save yourself added discomfort by making Body Glide a must-have. Apply liberally—there's no such thing as too much lube.
To Take Care of Business3 of 11
There is nothing more hectic than race morning. From the early wake up call, to finding parking and setting up transition, it's easy for a routine to be derailed. Make sure to arrive early to the venue to give your body time to take care of business. You don't want to be the triathlete who needs to go No. 2 in T2. #poopjoke
To Charge Your Gadgets4 of 11
If you haven't tried Shimano's not-so-new electronic groupsets, you should. Not only are they accurate and reliable, but they shift flawlessly and work intuitively. Don't forget though, you need to make sure your bike is charged before you rack it the day before. It may sound weird to the mechanical diehards, but remember your charger and plan for a few hours of "refueling" when you arrive to the hotel.
To Take Off Your Helmet5 of 11
A triathlon rite of passage, it's almost guaranteed you'll tear out of T2 at some point in your triathlon career, only to remember you still have your helmet on. It's easy for it to happen in the blur of the moment, but it's embarrassing nonetheless. Expect some spectator heckling to go along with your few lost seconds.
Where Your Bike Is6 of 11
Sometimes it can be tough to locate your bike in T1, especially in large races like IRONMAN,. Pro Tip: Look for landmarks around your bike like a promotional banner or light post. Not only will this save precious seconds (and effort) in your race, but you won't run around panicked in front of your friends and family.
To Pack Salt Tablets7 of 11
It's pretty much impossible to save your race once a bad cramp hits. They're small, weigh nothing and are often forgotten, but salt tablets can make or break your race—especially in long-distance efforts. Save yourself a headache and pack salt tablets in your swim, bike, run and special needs bags.
To Clean Your Bike8 of 11
It's a safe bet that the hotel staff isn't going to be happy finding chain lube and grease on their white bath towels. Don't forget to bring supplies to prep your drivetrain before the race—this includes some disposable shop rags (a.k.a. old T-shirts) to clean the chain.
To Bring Flat Kits9 of 11
While some triathlons offer neutral support on the bike course, it may be a while before they get to you when you're stranded on the side of the road. Sacrifice the extra grams and bring a spare tube and CO2 cartridge so you can fix a flat yourself. We hope you won't need to use it, but it'll bring great peace of mind while out on the course.
To Thank Your Sherpa10 of 11
While the race itself is an individual effort, triathlon is really a team sport. It's likely your family or significant other helped you pack for the race, drove you around all weekend and woke up early to put sunscreen on your shoulders. Don't forget to say thank you to your sherpas who put in a long day and get none of the glory or recognition.
To Take a Deep Breath11 of 11
It's the calm before the storm. The night before the race is not the time to panic and get stressed out. You've put the hard hours in—executing is all that's left. It may be tempting to wander the expo or explore the town, but it's best to eat a good meal and spend the day with your feet up, relaxing. Don't forget to take a deep breath, visualize your race and enjoy the moment. You've earned it.