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What To Do The Day Before A Triathlon

Posted by Luke Green

It’s finally triathlon season and months of preparation have finally reached their conclusion with race day just 24 hours away. Firstly, congratulations! Training for a triathlon is no easy feat and your body will have gone through a significant period of change while you’ve been training. You’ve done the physically hard bit and now it’s mostly just a mental game to get your body over the finish line. 

With no runs, cycles or swims left to tick off, you might be feeling a bit lost about what to do in the hours leading up to race day. However, careful planning and attention to detail are still crucial at this late stage. Doing the right things the day before a triathlon is key to having a successful event so follow this guide to learn what to do the day before a triathlon.

Rest Up

By the time you reach the day before your event, you should have already completed the physical side of your triathlon preparation. Don’t be tempted to do any intensive or strenuous exercise. At this stage of the game, your body needs (and has earned!) rest and relaxation so that it’s primed and ready for the big day. 

Having said this, it can be good to get your body moving a little bit, especially if you’ve travelled some distance to take part and your legs could do with a stretch after the travel. If you do want to do some kind of exercise the day before your triathlon, go for light exercise only. Some light stretching or a gentle walk to familiarise yourself with the area and clear your mind is the way to go. In no circumstances should you try and cram in one last long run, cycle or swim the day before.

Eat The Right Things

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in your triathlon performance and you’ll need to stay fuelled and hydrated throughout the event. What you put into your body the day before the event is arguably even more important as your body will use this energy throughout the triathlon, so focus on well-balanced meals the day before the race with plenty of slow-release carbohydrates and lean proteins in your evening meal. Be mindful to stick to foods and drinks that you consume regularly to avoid any nasty surprises on race day!

Get Your Kit Ready

While rest is essential on the day before the triathlon, you should still set aside some time to get everything ready so that you don’t have to scramble to find your kit on the morning of the event. Conduct a thorough check of your bike, helmet and running shoes and get your vital accessories like your race number, swimming cap, gels and goggles tucked into your waterproof kit bag ahead of time. Don’t forget that you’ll also need warm and dry clothing like your Pro Change EVO Swim Parka for when you’re hanging around at the start or waiting after the event. 

Familiarise Yourself With The Route

Getting to grips with the race course and transitions is a great way to build your confidence and productively kill some time on the day before a triathlon. This doesn’t mean lacing up your shoes or heading out on your bike and practising the whole thing! Just take some time to sit down and study the map or drive past segments that you aren’t sure about. It shouldn’t take too long but familiarising yourself with the course in this way will help you to navigate the course without any trouble and tackle each component of the event effectively. 

Finalise Race Day Logistics

Before you call it a day, make sure that all logistical aspects of the triathlon are taken care of. Ideally, you’ll do this further in advance but sometimes you’ll have to wait until the day before an event to attend the pre-race briefing if there is one and get final logistical information. Check the weather one last time, pack extra layers if things have changed for the worse, and make sure you know where to park and what time to leave if you’re driving to the start or finish line. 

Sleep Well

Once you’ve ticked off everything else on this list, get yourself to bed! Quality sleep is paramount for peak performance so wind down gently throughout the evening to keep nerves at bay and encourage the body to have a good night’s rest in a comfortable environment. You could read a good book, watch a film, or even spend some time focusing on your breathing, though we expect you’ll drop off quicker than you think when you allow your mind to switch off and all focus is on the morning.