Here are my 6 tips for destination race logistics:
1) So you've signed up for a destination race, now what? Well, if you're like me, you've done a bit of research into the course before hitting the ENTER button. If not, well then that should be your first order of business. How you train for said race will be partly be determined by the type of course you're racing on. Does the bike portion go through mountains? If so, you'll need to get some good climbing & descending work in. Swimming in the ocean? You might want to get used to swimming without a wetsuit. You see where I'm going with this, right? Part of having a successful race is being prepared for the course you're racing on. Nothing prepares you as much as being able to train on the course but that's not always feasible so if you're jetting off to some far flung destination to race, give yourself time in the days leading up to the race to either drive or ride some or all of the course (or at the very least the parts that scare you the most, ha ha). I did that in Luxembourg and it helped immensely.
|Bike Course Scout!|
3) Familiarize yourself with the race venue and it's surroundings. If you're staying nearby, great. If you're staying a bit further away and have to drive in, figure out how long the drive is. Factor in traffic if necessary. You may also have to figure out parking as you likely won't be able to park close to the race venue. In Luxembourg they recommended parking in certain lots and offered a shuttle service for athletes to and from the race venue.
4) Find out where the local bike shops are. If you're flying to a race, you're going to have to dismantle your bike and pack it in a bike box. Your local bike shop should be able to do that for you but when you arrive, you may need help with assembly. You will definitely need to get CO2 cartridges because you can't fly with them so plan accordingly. If you have bike tools, bring them. My bike shop took my Vectors off when they packed my bike and they can only be put back on with a pedal wrench which we didn't bring. So we had to find a bike shop and buy one. While we were there we picked up some CO2 cartridges.
|Flying to a race? Pack your patience. Hauling all this stuff is stressful.|
6) If it's a big race, you'll get an Athlete's Guide. Read it. There will also be a pre-race briefing. Go to it. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions and get clear answers. Not every race is going to be the same. For example, in Luxembourg the draft zone was 10 meters vs. 7 meters like it is in the US. I never would have known that if I didn't go to the pre-race meeting because I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't mentioned in the Guide book.
Do you have any tips you'd add to the list? Head on over to The Tri Girl Chronicles and You Signed Up for What to check out their tips and join in the link up! The Cupcake Triathlete is on her way back from Lake Placid so she'll be joining back up next week.