Do you want to make triathlon racing easier, more fun and more enjoyable? After all thats why you do all the hard work! Whilst your first race can feel daunting, it is also full of excitement. After a while racing can start to feel like a chore. You can then start to lose your motivation for training, and give up altogether. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way that has ultimately made my racing easier and more enjoyable.

Know your warm up and stick to it!

Depending on the distance you are racing, and your personal preference, most triathletes will want to do some sort of warm up. Whether it be to actually get a bit of sweat on your skin, or to just get in the water and feel comfortable with the temperature. Whatever suits you, just make sure you plan for it before race day comes around. Otherwise you will find yourself looking over at others and wondering “Should I be doing that too?”. No! Stick to your plan. Do what you know and feel comfortable with.

Have a check list

Create a check list (or download mine FREE to SRM subscribers) to use the day before the race to pack your bag. You don’t want to get transition and realise you have no water on your bike! Use the checklist for after the race too. With the excitement of fishing a race, and with the transition areas being a bit messy post race it is easy to leave things behind.

Create a Triathlon-race ritual

Know what calms your nerves and do it! For me, it’s not talking to too many people and listening to some chilled music on my iPod. Some will prefer the company of their family. Others might enjoy a stretching routine. Do whatever works for you to get you in your zone!

Support crew meeting spot

Have a meeting spot for when you have finished your race. You won’t usually have access to your phone immediately after your race. You will want to celebrate with your support crew, so having a set meeting point will help you find them swiftly. It’s also a nice idea to choose a spot where your family will observe from. It’s nice to be able to look out for your family and see them supporting you. Consider choosing a point in the race where you know you might need a little ‘pick me up’. For me that’s about 5 k’s into the 10 k run! Seeing my family there usually gives me the boost I need. PRO TIP: Let your closest members know what it is that they can say to inspire you.  You may want to let them know your race plan so that they can remind you to ‘maintain pace’ or ‘go for home now’.

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Practice transitions.

For some reason we forget about the transitions in our training. Practicing transitions can really boot your confidence, and it doesn’t take that long. Set up your gear and practice each transition. On race day transitions can often feel panicked and rushed. If you practice them they will feel a lot smoother. It will also stop you wasting valuable energy the night before worrying about how you will complete them. Make for an enjoyable race, and know your transitions.

Write down a ‘race report

There are so many benefits of writing a personal race report. It doesn’t have to be in great detail or even a specific format. Writing a race report helps you to reflect on how you felt, what you enjoyed and what you learned. As athletes we can waste a bit of time wondering ‘what would of happened if…’ Writing a race report soon after helps bring clarity to your mind, and prevent you from over analysing your race for the next 5 weeks.  A journal of race reports can also be a good reminder of what you learned last time you raced, so that you can implement it in the next race. I know that personally my goals were to always improve on may last race. Time is a poor reflection on your improvement. because no 2 races will be the same. If you can have a goal like ‘feel confident in my transition and put my helmet on the right way first time’ you can better gauge your progress!

Compete against you, and only you!

This is easy to say, and pretty hard to do. I know myself that awful feeling of jealously I get when I know that someone is fitter and faster than me. Oh how I hate it! Not only is it a sickening feeling, it’s also a waste of time. You are where you at right now because of a whole gamut of circumstances. You can not compare your start with someones middle. If you are new to racing, you can’t expect to have all of the race tactics down pat. They are learnt skills that come with experience. You could have overcome injury, have a different family circumstances, and you may have less time to commit to training etc. These are not ‘excuses’ they are realities. Your priorities and circumstances are different to your fellow athletes, so don’t compare yourself to them. Focus on you, and only you. If you concentrate on improve on your own racing, you will be sure to learn from your experience and ultimately enjoy your racing more.

Get your race essentials checklist here! 

Make racing more enjoyable: Recap

  • Know your warm up and stick to it
  • Create a pre-race ritual
  • Have a support crew meeting spot
  • Practice transitions
  • Write a race report
  • Compete against you and only you

If you have some awesome tips to share to make racing more enjoyable, why not join our private Facebook group. It is all about building a community of supportive women, particularly mums that love triathlon. We would love to have you there.

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