I’ve dedicated this blog to one truth: Providing you with the nitty gritty details of doing a triathlon so that you’re not surprised on race day. In the spirit of that truth, I think it’s time that we tackle the one subject no self respecting writer wants to talk about.
Let’s face it- There’s something about race day that makes a stomach nervous. Your alarm goes off much earlier than usual, you have trouble getting your full breakfast down, and the excitement of that magic marker and neoprene smell sends butterflies flitting around your stomach. It can make for an overactive situation, to put things delicately. That urge to go- and go quickly- combined with long porta potty lines can make for an extremely uncomfortable and potentially mortifying situation. Having coped with this situation personally, I want to share a few tips which I’ve found help things… stop.
Stick to foods you’re used to
Race day is not the time to try a new gel, or suddenly switch from pizza to salads (or vice versa), or chug a liter of Gatorade hoping it will ward off cramps. Anything you’re going to eat on race day needs to be in your regular rotation for at least a month prior. Personally, I love a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana, along with a cup of coffee, to kick off my race day. It’s food my stomach knows well which will give me energy throughout the morning.
Bring your own TP
Thanks to one of my Instagram pals for this one. Now I’m forever hoarding the last quarter roll of toilet paper with the thought that it will come with me on race day. Keep some TP in a sandwich bag and don’t forget it when you head to the porta potty. You never know what is- or isn’t- in there.
Look around for hidden bathrooms
At my last race I stood with dismay as I surveyed the 15 minute wait for a porta potty. I’m not excited to use a porta potty to begin with- but to then stand in line and waste precious warm up time was injustice. Looking around, I realized there was a public bathroom some 500 yards outside of the transition area, so I set off to see if it was open. Sure enough, 4 stalls with doors that locked and toilets that flushed were awaiting my arrival. Glorious. With swims taking place at public beaches and transition areas set up in the parking lots of those public parks, it’s likely there’s more than one public bathroom nearby. Don’t be afraid to break from the crowd and check it out.
Pop an Anti-Diarrheal Capsule
Maybe time for a disclaimer to say that I’m not a medical professional and I’m not encouraging you to take any medication without the approval of your doc. But from personal experience, I can say that this one has been a miracle worker for me. The night before a race I take 2 capsules. The morning on the race I pop one. It’s been a solid solution…
Have a question about something you’re too embarrassed to mention? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask! If I don’t know the answer, I will find out. I’m happy to look like an idiot so that you don’t have to.