Tri Talk Tuesday: Pre-race Jitters

This week, on Tri Talk Tuesday, CourtneyMiranda, and Cynthia have selected the theme “pre-race jitters”. This is the perfect topic for me to talk about, because I am an expert on pre-race jitters! haha… I’ve been racing for years-marathons and ultra marathons were what I started with, and now I’ve been racing triathlons as well for a year and a half. It doesn’t matter how experienced I am, I still get pre-race jitters. BUT, I have developed ways of managing them. Before I give my tips on how to manage my jitters though, I want to reflect back on several of my races and note my nervous look in each picture. :)

First half marathon. May, 2008.

First half marathon. May, 2008.

First marathon ever. Everyone smiles, except mine is forced, and you can see in my eyes that I'm terrified!

First marathon ever. July, 2009. Everyone smiles, except mine is forced, and you can see in my eyes that I’m terrified!

First attempt (and success) at qualifying for Boston...again...concerned face. :)

First attempt (and success) at qualifying for Boston. July 2010…again…note the concerned face. :)

Boston marathon. 2011. Terrified and a little crazy. :)

Boston marathon. 2011. Terrified and a little crazy. :)

2nd 50k, July 2012

2nd 50k, July 2012

1st Triathlon. May 2013

1st Triathlon. May 2013

As you can see, I take some epic pre-race photos :) I am always very concerned before a race, no matter what it is or how many times I’ve done that race. BUT, like I said at the beginning, I have found some ways to manage those jitters, so here they are.

1) Pack everything I need for the race the day BEFORE leaving for the race

2) Pack EXTRAS of everything! I always bring at least 2 pair of goggles to a triathlon

3) Pack my own nutrition. I’ve said this before in my blog, but I feel much less stressed out about a race if I have my own nutrition with me. Fuel makes or breaks a race for me, so if I don’t have what I need….things end badly.

4) Arrive at the race site EARLY. For a triathlon, I arrive at minimum an hour before transition closes (usually an hour and a half before the race start). This gives me plenty of time to lay out everything in transition, check the gears on my bike, and get my packet from registration.

5) Warm-up! Before a triathlon, I usually do a warm-up run AND a warm-up swim. The warm-up run helps calm me down and focus me for the race. The warm-up swim helps get me used to the water, practice siting, and get a good idea of what the swim course looks like.

6) Take a pre-race photo :) Even though I’m nervous, it’s fun to take a picture before the race. It helps calm me down :)

7) Last but not least, review the course for the swim, bike, AND run. I make SURE I know what buoys I have to turn at, where the finish is, where the bike-out and run-out are for transition, how many loops are on the bike and run, ect. If I’m not familiar with the course design, I get super stressed out :)

So those are my tips! Yes, I still get jitters before every race, but they’re more controlled now. AND, now I can take a pre-race photo and actually look confident! See?

First triathlon of the season, June 1, 2014

First triathlon of the season, June 1, 2014

Do you get pre-race jitters?

How do you calm yourself down?

 

 

 

 

 

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