What To Do With All That Spare Time

Watching and reading posts in my Club’s Facebook group, and hearing comments and posts in other places prompted me to post the following, in the hope that it will drown out the voice of hysteria that seems to threaten to overtake all reasonable thought and action this week. It’s a triathlon, not brain surgery. It should be enjoyable, not stressful or anxiety producing.

I’m hoping that this information will keep everyone who is getting ready for their “A” race this coming weekend entirely too busy to worry about the dust in their house, the lack of food and meals for their family, the cross-fit class you’ve been dying to try, and any other non-race related distraction you are obsessing over.

So, here goes:

My free coaching advice for the day — RELAX!!!!!

If you followed a plan and did your training then you are good and the best thing you can do right now is relax. There is no last minute magic workout or purchase or adjustment or discussion or anything else you can do.

If you didn’t follow a plan and / or didn’t do your training then you are NOT good, but the best thing you can do right now is relax. There is no last minute magic workout or purchase or adjustment or discussion or anything else you can do.

What can you do? Check your equipment, lay out your clothes (check the weather) and review your nutrition plan as used in training. Eat healthy and clean, stay hydrated. Maybe get a massage or an adjustment or some ART if you normally do that.

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”. ― Erma Bombeck.


Double check that you have enough of everything you will use on race day to eat and / or drink. I always make sure I have an extra hour beyond my slowest predicted time.

Very important to have an extra hour of pre-race nutrition as you never know what happens the morning of a race. If there is a delay you aren’t starting in a nutritional / hydration hole.

Make sure you have water bottles, flasks, etc.

There is still time to get any of the above before the weekend if you are short.

Now is a good time to review what to do with your bike before a big race:

1. Hopefully you already scheduled a pre-race tune up at your local bike shop. If you didn’t then call now. Maybe you’ll get lucky

2. Make sure your bike is clean, that always makes me feel better.

3. Make sure your chain is clean and lubed.

4. Inspect your tires for damage (your bike shop should have done that, doesn’t hurt to double check, though).

5. Pump up your tires to around 100/110 psi and make sure they hold most of that pressure overnight.

6. Check your tire supplies for race day — For any longer distance race, I always carry two tubes, two tire levers, two C02 cartridges and the attachment for them, a dollar bill or empty gu packet just in case a tire “blows out”. If you have or are renting race wheels make sure that you can fill them from your CO2 device or hand pump.

Even if you don’t know how to change a flat you should have the above supplies, just in case you are lucky enough to have someone stop and help you. Do not ask or expect anyone else to give you their supplies. What if they need them later in the race?

If you don’t know how and / or never have I’d suggest you get yourself and your bike to your bike mechanic and ask them to teach you how, on your own bike! Yes, both the front and the back! And yes, on your own bike.


Last but not least, what are you going to wear?

For the swim:

Check your goggles and make sure you have a spare pair with you. Could be sunny or cloudy so I recommend both light and dark tinted goggles.

Check your wetsuit. Plan on bringing all possible options if you have — sleeveless, long sleeved, swim skin. Water and air temp can change quickly, be prepared for all possible options.
I use goggle defogger for my goggles, and Aquaphor on any possible areas that chafe.
Hopefully you have been training on some workouts with what you plan on wearing. Lay everything out, make sure everything is available and you haven’t lost anything, loaned it and not gotten it back, ripped anything, etc.

Swim / bike / run attire:

Keep checking weather.com or the like for race day temps and realize that over 5 or 6 or more hours the weather can change a lot. I like layers — gloves, arm warmers, vests, etc. that allow me to add or remove stuff. Putting a long sleeve shirt on over something when you are wet isn’t always easy.

Plan for plus or minus 10 degrees from what is forecast. Make your decision the day before and / or morning of.

A good place to check is either of these two websites for some guidelines. I have found from experience that I like to feel “Cool” if I am racing, and “In-between” when training.



Just a quick post, if I worry about formatting and the like I’ll never get around to publishing it.  Hoping it helps someone relax a bit!

One Reply to “What To Do With All That Spare Time”

  1. I don’t do any of that I just go, but I sure enjoyed reading it. You are amazing. A really good teacher, trainer, motivator.

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