Long Course triathlon racing such as Ironman, 70.3 and Ultimate distance events have their own dynamics in racing and training. These distances have greater importance on nutrition, mental preparation and pacing than other distances.
You can make your race and day easier and more enjoyable through preparation and planning even in the last week leading into a race.
Here are some key points as a checklist for Long Course racing leading up to the race:
- Charge all of your devices and/or update batteries including di2/etap, Watches, Power Meters. Then check they all work!
- Set out all of your gear and work through each leg separately, thinking about what you will need. Work through T1 and T2 and remember items such as a race belt, sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
- Have a plan for your nutrition and take more than you may need. You may need extra as some may fall out of your pockets or the conditions (heat, wind) may result in you being out there longer than anticipated.
- Understand and know the course. It seems obvious but there are times when people miss turning points or do 1 lap short. Know how many laps for each leg it is and where the aid stations are. You can then plan where to get water or additional drink bottles, or where to plan to get your own nutrition in.
- Have a race plan whether it be riding to power or heart rate, heart rate and pace on the run and the timings for nutrition. If the conditions are tough such as a very hot day you may need to adjust run pace for example and or have additional nutrition.
- Pace yourself, especially early on the bike. With all the excitement of the race and having done a taper and wound back your training, you need to control the intensity as per your plan rather than pushing too hard too early. It is better to be even with the pacing than blowing out.
Enjoy the finish line! You have earned it with all your training.