48 hours to go – final preparation advice for the 32Gi Eastbourne Triathlon

There’s no escaping now – its almost here! The very first Eastbourne Tri: new to everyone regardless of whether this is your very first triathlon or one of many. How brilliant to be a part of it.

The last two weeks the theme of these posts has been about taking yourself to the race rather than letting it come to you. And here it is now, just two days away. So what to do with just a few days to go?

There are a few things I think will help, now all the training is done. Some of these are really a recap on the earlier posts and one addresses the elephant in the room.

First, take control of your time. Its so easy to find the time slipping away and then get in a last minute panic, hunting for that bit of kit you know you left somewhere but can’t remember where. Make an appointment with yourself to get everything you need together. You could allot an hour, that in the previous days and weeks would have been spent out training, to make a list of what you need and quietly, calmly work through it. There’s a useful checklist here on the FAQs page – don’t forget to add what you’ll wear, eat and drink before and after.

In the same way, tell yourself that when you come to register and set up in transition, you’ll also be in control of your time. This doesn’t mean being so laid back you miss the start! It means not allowing yourself to get caught up in other people’s infectious nervousness and panic, instead being methodical and composed. I like to walk myself through each entry and exit point of the transition, fix in my mind a way of remembering where my bike is, rehearse putting on my race belt, flash glasses, helmet clipped… all in the right order so when it comes to the moment everything is in place and it all happens by instinct.

Are we ready for the elephant in the room? Yes, the sea is cold! You don’t need to know the exact temperature. Its cold. However, a bit of mental and physical preparation, can make a big difference. You can prepare yourself physically by doing some flexibility exercises beachside to loosen up and ensure you have full movement in the wet suit. I suggest then getting in the water around 10 minutes before the start, splashing water on your face and a little down the front of your suit (it’s the way the insulation works) and doing some strokes to loosen up. More on the mental preparation, tell yourself no matter what, you are going to control your breathing. As you mill around waiting for the start, get into a relaxed, controlled breathing. Then, when your wave starts, for at least the first quarter tell yourself all the way bubble-bubble-breathe, bubbling out as soon as your head is in the water and breathing to the side in a steady, controlled rhythm.

Finally, I really hope you enjoy the event. It’s been so well organised, with everything done in mind for you to have a memorable, safe and fun experience. There are more tips and ideas for preparation and general inspiration on my site at www.zigzagalive.com and I’d love to hear how you get on and whether these posts have helped. The very best of ZigZag Alive luck.