How to avoid the stress & overwhelm when it comes to triathlon racing

Mar 31, 2022

Are you someone that suffers from pre-race nerves?

Do you worry you’ve forgotten to do something important heading into race day?

There is A LOT to do, think about and organise when it comes to triathlon racing. Preparing for one sport is hard enough, but you’ve got to prepare yourself for three!

To help you automate your racing process and take away the stress that comes with toeing the start line, I’ve put together a Triathlon Racing Checklist that outlines a range of things you might want to consider in the lead-up, on race day and also suggestions for post-race too.

The week leading into an event
  • Tapering training
  • Adapt and practice your race nutrition – potentially carbohydrate loading, using your personalised Dietitian Approved race nutrition plan
  • Bike maintenance
  • Practice in any particular race gear you plan to use/wear on the day – don’t try anything new on race day!
  • Organise your pre-race dinner (don’t leave organising it to the night before a race)
  • Body maintenance (pre-race massage or physio)
  • Get on top of your hydration
  • Course familiarisation – online and in your athlete guide
  • Download and work through your Dietitian Approved Race Pack List

TIP: My final advice for the week leading in is don't do anything weird. Don't do anything new, just be normal. Do your normal self. Don't get distracted by what others are doing, or what you've suddenly started to read on the internet. Just be normal.

The day before race day
  • Use your list to ensure you have everything you need packed
  • Carb loading – if that’s what your sports dietitian has recommended for you
  • Last check that your bike's working smoothly
  • Freeze your water bottles (but only if needed – you might need to test that well beforehand to see how long it takes to melt)
  • Lay your race gear out ready (and take a photo and post to the gram!)
  • Try not to get distracted by what others are doing - this is the one time that it's okay to be super selfish and just tell everyone to go away 
  • Pre-race dinner
  • Limit screen time before you go to bed
  • Get to bed early for a really good night’s sleep

TIP: Don’t do anything new! Whatever you've practiced in training is what you need to do in the same racing scenario.  

Race Day
  • Get up early enough to eat before you do your race – I wouldn’t recommend fasting. Eat to your customised plan. There's definitely a strategy to the pre-race meal.
  • Make sure you've got your recovery nutrition packed in your street bag
  • Allow enough time to get to transition
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Warm up
  • Toilet stop – empty that gastro-intestinal tract to feel light and comfortable
  • Strap your feet to avoid blisters

TIP: Try not to get distracted by what others are doing. Blinkers on, laser focus. Make sure you're doing your preparation for what you know is going to set you up to the race to the best of your ability.  

Post-race recovery musts 

You've gone really hard for an extended duration of time, and you've compromised your immune system by doing that as well. So there's a few things that I want you to think about when it comes to recovery:

  • Take a cool down jog afterwards
  • Rehydrate
  • Stretch or book a massage
  • Think ahead about where your recovery meal will be - have you booked that or do you have that with you? Consider all those things that might delay you – post-race catch-ups, taking photos, medal ceremonies, getting your bike out of transition, etc
  • Visit the expo post-race (try not to get distracted and fatigued by doing it pre-race)
  • And then the final thing on your list for recovery … you get bonus points for avoiding alcohol!

TIP: If you're the type of person that loves to just go straight to the pub after doing a key race take a listen to my podcast episode with Ben Desbrow on alcohol and performance.

That's my Triathlon Racing 101 Checklist. So make sure you go and grab that. Once you've got yourself a system that works for you, simply rinse and repeat!

To get your copy of our Triathlon Racing Checklist - DOWNLOAD HERE
To get your copy of our Triathlon Racing Pack List - DOWNLOAD HERE


To go deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast Episode 34: How to avoid the stress & overwhelm when it comes to triathlon racing


If you’re interested in joining the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, pop your name on the waitlist NOW | Join the TNA Waitlist

If you are looking for a Sports Dietitian and want to learn more about working with me, click HERE to see what I offer for private, 1 on 1 consultations.



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