So you have a race coming up? Whether it’s a local 5k, a sprint triathlon, or you are traveling half way across the country for an Ironman event you have to make sure you are prepared. Just in case you are wondering I’m not referring to being physically or mentally prepared here. I’m talking about making sure you have what you need to compete that day. No matter if you are a seasoned athlete or competing in your first race, forgetting items you need for race day happens at all levels. Realizing when you get to your destination or even worse, on race morning that you forgot something can cause unnecessary stress and throw you off your game. This is why being prepared is critical. The easiest way to ensure you have all the items you need for your big day is to make a checklist.
You can create your own custom checklist (recommended) or find one online like the one here, https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/triathlon-checklist.html. Creating your own list has its advantages because everyone is different and may have their own special items required on race day. If you are new to racing, especially triathlon then you can start with a checklist found online and tweak it as you learn more about your individual needs on race day. The distance of your race and distance traveled to the race will dictate how much gear you will need. Longer races and further travel to your venue will obviously require more gear and planning so allow yourself plenty of time based on your situation. With that said don’t get over confident and skip the checklist just because you are doing a 5k a few blocks from your house as this is often when you are most comfortable and will end up forgetting something.
Traveling great distances for a race brings in added stress which is when a checklist is very handy. This often means more items for the days you aren’t racing and chances are you might be packing for family members such as kids or a spouse. Don’t wait until a few days before you leave to begin packing, especially your race gear. The closer you get to race day, especially if it’s a new distance the more nervous you will be and more likely to forget something. A good tip for these cases is to pack your race day gear several days (5-7) before you leave. Lay your items out and check them off as you pack them into your bag and leave it alone until you leave. If you are new to endurance sports, especially triathlon, the amount of gear needed on race day may be a bit overwhelming. Laying out your items as you would in transition and going through your checklist a few times will ensure you have everything you need as well as ease your mind. Being prepared will allow you to focus on your mental preparation and will avoid stress and panic when you realize you have forgotten something. Trust me, I am speaking from personal experience of forgetting things and not just from horror stories I have heard and seen.
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- Coach Brandon
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