Transition Talk: Pre-Race Rituals

You’re standing in the transition area. Your stuff is set up all neatly under your bike… your wetsuit is on (well, half on), and you’ve got your goggles and watch ready to go. It seems to all be coming together… but what did you do to prepare to arrive at this moment?

There are myriad different ways of approaching these minutes that lie between getting up race morning and the gun going off to begin your swim.

For me, it goes like this (your routine may look pretty similar! or it could be way different. haha)

forcing my brother to take a pre-race picture. haha

forcing my brother to take a pre-race picture. haha

  • Wake up. Getting out of bed is the first step!
  • Check. I check a million times to make sure that everything is packed. (Once, I forgot my wetsuit. It was kinda rough/brutal)
  • Eat. BREAKFAST. The meal varies based on race length (bar/fruit for shorter races, eggs for longer)
  • Get there. Head to the race. This usually involves my dad driving. Haha
  • MUSIC. This one is key for me. In the hours preceding the race, I need to listen to motivational music to get me going. Everyone has their own strategies, but I like to channel things that anger or upset me into productive energy on race day – and sometimes getting psyched up through music can help this. Everything from Eminem to Mumford and Sons gets me pumped for racing.
  • Pictures. Ok, this may not be on everyone’s pre-race ritual list. But I make my dad/cousins/brother/whoever is racing with me take pictures together at races! I love being able to look back at races from years ago and remember them through personal photographs. 🙂
  • Definitely a throwback picture... cousins setting up the transition area at West Point!

    Definitely a throwback picture… cousins setting up the transition area at West Point!

    Transition Set-Up. Although I am DEFINITELY not a neat freak (I have many people who can attest to this, I try to make the transition area as organized as possible. Every second matters during the race and a neat transition area can really help!

  • Talks. Exchanging a few motivating words with fellow racers (for me usually my cousins or dad) always helps the last minute race-jitters!
  • Go Blank. In the seconds preceding a race, a wonderful blanket of white sweeps over my mind. Adrenaline pumps. It’s the best feeling in the world.

What are your pre-race routines? Not sure how to formulate them? Try to think about your daily morning routine. What about it do you like? How does it help you get ready for your day? Try to translate this into a triathlon-related routine.

Some can’t live without pre-race coffee. Others like to go for a brisk warm-up jog or swim before the gun goes off to start the race .Whatever it may be, try to find the pre-race routine that works best for you… it can really make a difference in your racing.

Some additional Pre-Race planning resources:

Race-Day Warm-Up

Race-Day Tips (great article – very in-depth)

ITU Athlete Routines, Rituals, & Performance Strategies

Tri Hard,