With about 6wks to go until REV3 Knoxville Olympic and Half Distance races there are a few things you might want to start thinking about in preparation for the day.
Don’t laugh, as some of them are obvious/ basic but you will be surprised that at one time or another you might forget to do one of these things.
*Book your ticket, hotel, hire car etc. for the event if you haven’t already done so and know the cost of flying with your bike beforehand so you don’t collapse in shock at the ticket counter when they tell you how much it costs to bring your most prized possession with you.
*Race suit and sunscreen (with a minimum of 6% zinc in it to block both UVA/UVB rays- Jack Black sunscreen is a good one)
*Headlamp and bike lights if you are riding from your accommodation to the race site. A backpack to carry your gear.
Swim check list-
Wetsuit (that you have worn in training so you know it fits properly)
Trislide- to lube up and stop any unwanted looking ‘hickeys’ on your neck post race
Goggles- clear is best as it will suit all conditions and unscratched so you have no excuse for going off course or not being able to see where you are going!
Bike packing check list-
Make sure you know how to pull your bike apart and put it back together safely or organize in advance for a reputable bike shop to do this for you. Mark and measure anything that needs to be changed due to packing i.e. seat height
Take an extra tube or tire in case you flat whilst out on your training ride before the race or during the race.
Have the hydration set up you want-for the half distance make sure you have two drink bottle holders (or aero bottle on the front and a drink bottle on the frame).
Your secret, electrolyte formula that you have practiced with to keep you fueled on the bike.
Take your own pump, tire levers, repair kit, cable ties, electrical tape, plumbers tape for sealing valve extenders, extra valve extenders at the correct length for your wheel diameter, Allen key/tool kit, bike cleaner, scissors, tire glue and chain lube.
Don’t forget to buy a CO2 when you get to the race site from the bike shop set up there.
- Helmet that is certified by USAT
- Chamois cream (Aussie Butt Cream), Bag Balm, Belgium Butter etc. for making your ride a little more comfortable where it matters!
- 2 water bottles-one for your secret formula and one for water (and a third to sip on before the race).
- Road ID
- Socks if you like to wear them
- Race shoes
- Spare laces
- Visor or hat
- Gels of your choice and salt tabs if you use them
- Trislide to spray on your feet, ankles…wherever you experience blisters
- Timing chip strap if you like your own
- Socks if you didn’t put them on in T1 (if you wear them)
- And a SMILE!!!
With around 6wks until the start of your chosen REV3 race you should already be underway in your training, have your bike set up properly, using your nutrition in training to get your body used to it on race day and looking forward to getting to Knoxville to race.
Here are a few little things to think about over the next few weeks-
Try to do a few transition training sessions with some friends (so the competition is there) to get your body and mind used to going from the swim to bike and bike to run in as fast and consistent manner as possible. You can try it with your bike set up on the trainer at the pool or if you are in a quiet area, try it without the trainer on the road. Have your shoes set up in your transition area and get out of your cycling shoes as quickly as possible and slip your running shoes and take off out of transition with your cap/ visor and gel flask in your hands and put them on as you are running (this will save you time).
Get your nutrition plan calculated and try it many times in training so your body (and stomach) get used to it.
Do some race paced efforts and ask some friends to join you for them. The course has some hills in it so gain strength by hitting the hills and learning to use your gears efficiently.
Try to get some swims in open water of any kind in your wetsuit so you feel comfortable wearing it race day. Practice sighting, your deep water starts and running out of the water and getting out of your wetsuit as quickly as possible.
If you have children/ family members joining you, sign them up for the adventure race on Saturday and cheer them on before they return the favor when you are racing!
Print out the race week schedule, even if you don’t have time to read it now, read it on the plane/ in the car so you know when to pick up your race packet, go the race briefing and the awards to pick up your trophy!
Ask your hotel if they will do an early breakfast for you on race day and if not, bring your own.
Remember to pack sufficient underwear and casual clothing- wearing your race kit around before the race because you forgot to pack ‘normal’ clothes….isn’t cool!!!
Weather averages 55-75 so pack accordingly.
Lighten up- if work, family or other issues arise and you cannot do a training session, go with the flow and make sure you fit it in the following day or if you have a little time, just do what you can. Keep some balance in your life as a happy athlete, makes for a better performance (and happier family and co-workers!).