70.3 Race Week Do’s and Don’t – Coach Ray and Nat

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Race week is eventually here and I’m sure the nerves and excitement are taking over.

It’s important in these last few days to try and stay as relaxed and focused as possible.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help guide you through race week.


  • Don’t get caught up in the vibe and ride longer or run further than initially planned, as last minute miles will only leave you tired on race day. (If you haven’t put the work in by now – it is too late, you’re going to be in for a very long day)Don’t start fiddling with your bike set up the in the last few days before the race. (Altering your position, adjusting your seat height, moving your seat position further forward or backwards, changing cleats will only lead to discomfort or injuries on or before race day.)
  • Don’t make any last minute changes to equipment race or taper plans.
  • Don’t go out and buy new running shoes or race kit that you have not used before, you’ll just end up chafing or with blisters.
  • Don’t suddenly try new energy drinks or products – stick to what you have been training on.Don’t stand around all day (You want to be on your feet as little as possible in the last few days before the race. Make sure you know when your check – in times are and where and when your briefings are.)
  • Don’t train in the heat of the day. (Just because you are going to be racing in the heat of the day, does not mean that all sessions in the week leading up to the race must be done at the hottest time of the day. All you will do is dehydrate and end up with sun burn.)


  • Do get as much sleep and rest as possible this week.
  • Do plan what and when you are going to eat and drink in the race. (You can even set the timer on your watch to beep as a reminder when to take your GU’s or when to eat or drink. Don’t wait until you feel hungry, thirsty, or are already bonking to try ‘save’ yourself.)
  • Do plan your transitions – Run through every step of your transition in your mind prior to the race. This will ensure that on race day your transitions run smoothly and automatically, without wasting any unnecessary time and effort.
  • At bike check in, walk through the transition from the swim entrance, to bike exit.
  • Do stick to your own taper plan and go into the race well rested
  • Do some warm up swims in the sea, to practise sighting and diving through the waves. For beginners, the most important point to concentrate on in the swim is to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible in the water. Maintain a long, controlled stroke. When you tense up in the swim, you start fighting the water and cause unnecessary fatigue.
  • Do pace yourself on the bike leg and rather start conservatively. Remember your nutrition on the bike.Just do this a couple of times and then relax and forget about the race. Thinking about it too much can also make you nervous and unsettled.Acknowledge the support and commitment your family, friends and work colleagues have given you in your build up to the race. Plan to spend some alone time with your family, without your bike, running shoes and without even talking about triathlon.You are doing an event that many people dream about. Enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. You don’t know if it will happen again. You will go through bad patches, so expect them and just go with it. You can’t control the weather or problems that arise on the day. So don’t waste energy stressing about it, just deal with it and keep moving forward. For beginners, make it your goal to have as much fun out there as possible, chat to the other athletes, acknowledge the fans and volunteers. It will make it all so much more worthwhile.
  • Do visualize the raceImagine yourself running up through the transition area, taking your wetsuit, goggles, cap off – dressing for the bike, putting on sunblock, helmet, cycling shoes etc. Go through the race mentally, so that you know what you need to do and when you need to do it.


Raynard and Natalie Tissink

Author: Tissink_Admin

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