The Triathlete’s Guide to Race Week

The Triathlete’s Guide to Race Week

In line for packet pick-up at the first race of my 2010 season, something caught my attention. A young athlete, a US Air Force Academy cadet, was chatting with the volunteers. It was his first triathlon and he really didn’t know what he was getting into. I suppose to a young cadet a sprint triathlon might not seemed too intimidating, but he had borrowed a bike from a friend, and this particular course is actually a challenging one for a sprint race. He had a lot of questions for the volunteers about what was going to happen.

I thought about my first race and how fortunate I was to do it through Team In Training. Not only did I get the swim, bike, and run training, but I was walked through what to expect on race day. I was prepared when it came to my race so I only had to be nervous about my performance, not the surrounding chaos of the expo, packet pick-up, studying the transition area, and all those other tasks we do on race day other than swim, bike, and run. I remember chatting with other triathletes, some who had done more races than I have, and they asked me how I knew so much.

Why not create a document that walked triathletes through the race process? Not the training, as there are a lot of training books out there, but the other details that we often learn over several race seasons of trial and error. Triathlon is a growing sport. If the new triathletes know what to expect and are more prepared for their race, the better experience they will have. And triathletes with many races under their belts could still probably get a few new ideas to prepare for their races.

I then spent my race season paying closer attention to what I did before each race. The initial book was going to be just about race day, but while writing, I realized that the days leading up to the race are just as important. The end result is The Triathlete’s Guide to Race Week ebook, and a companion ebook, How to Write a Triathlon Race Plan. These ebooks are available for sale on my eBooks page.

Coach Nicole is the founder and head coach for NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness, a Colorado-based endurance sport coaching company. She is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach and also coaches triathlon for Team In Training. Learn more at You can also contact Coach Nicole on facebooktwitter or via email at
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Nicole Odell


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