The Ultimate Triathlon Checklist for 2020, the COVID-19 Edition

Race cancellations, restrictions to go outside, changes in our daily lives, these are some of the headlines that we have all heard of. Now more than ever our sport needs to take a stance and adapt to support a cause it concerns all athletes worldwide, staying inside is our pledge.

What is the triathlon checklist, the COVID-19 edition?

Yes, triathlon checklists are typically composed of a comprehensive list of equipment and routines, booklets and PDFs. In this case, we would like to remind you of critical touch-points to review to maintain and improve your shape while indoors. Here are some of the key ingredients top athletes are doing today to get ahead of the pack.

Breaking down the triathlon checklist

Let this updated guide help you be as ready as you can be for your upcoming triathlon or indoor training.

Preparing for the next-race:

  • Adapting to the times:
    • Although there has been a recent explosion in virtual races, especially in the cycling world, the industry for runners and swimmers are also making exciting plans to follow suit. Whether you have adapted or want to keep things a bit simpler, it is highly recommended to adjust your surroundings to train properly indoors and make time-blocks to complete your daily training plans.
    • This is also the time to recover from any cramps or injuries. In a study published for the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information, 50% of injuries during training has occurred from running, a close 43% from cycling, and 7% from swimming. Injuries are a common thread in the sport, take this time to rest both physically and mentally.
    • As added by the study mentioned above, “most high-performing athletes will experience one or more significant health issues that slow their progress in training at some point during a competitive season.” Before pushing the limits of performance, make injury prevention a top priority and utilize this period for optimal injury recovery. Always take note: the long race is won by placing health before performance!
  • Nutrition: 
    • Your food is your race fuel, period. Make sure to take a conscious check of daily diet to maximize your performance. According to the Sports Dietitians of Australia (SDA), training per week of long-course athletes take from a range of 10 hours for age-group athletes up to 20+ hours for the high-performing competitors. To keep up, make the right choices in the kitchen and watch your performance rocket.
    • According to the SDA, “food is a priority to promote recovery, daily energy levels, and optimize training adaptations”. It is a definite given that carbohydrate intake needs to be sufficient, but also protein with a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables for optimal muscle regeneration, immune function and recovery. Make sure to stay hydrated too at all times!
  • Mentally ready:
    • The world is experiencing an unprecedented level of stress, and this also applies to all triathletes and the sporting world as a whole. Never take your mental health for granted. Based on the “mental-preparedness techniques” study on accomplishing race goals for Ironman triathletes by Kayla Frimmel, the importance of maintaining a process orientation, wherein you “break down the race” to small incremental goals avoids the onset of anxiety and demotivation.
    • Having support from a training group also helps for faster mental recovery when physical injuries cause a setback. It is important to create a plan for your annual goals, but make sure to not overwhelm yourself by always thinking of when the race calendar will kick off again. A little goes a long way, eventually, you will get there. Meditation and breathing exercises are highly encouraged.
  • Technology, Coaching team, and Heart Rate monitors
    • Your overall well-being can be easily digested into concise data by a reliable fitness tool such as PKRS.AI., the first all-in-one coaching experience guiding triathletes towards success all around the world. Packed with a smart training daily and weekly plan, and dedicated team of real human coaches guiding you in with all your cardio, strength, and recovery workouts. Your coaches get to analyze your stats and tailor your training plan accordingly, making sure you are physically on track, holistically ready, and most importantly healthy and injury-free.
    • PRKS.AI also adapts to your availability of time, energy, and lifestyle. We all have our days when we need to work an extra hour or just unwind – but at the same time PKRS.AI makes sure that you take full-body recovery from your lost workout days without breaking yourself.

The equipment you need to bring during the race:

A triathlon checklist won’t be complete without the equipment. You may have probably searched for this multiple times already, so we’re giving you a short comprehensive list of stuff you need for your upcoming triathlon:

  • Triathlon kit (clothing): This is obvious but yes, very important. Don’t forget to also bring your helmet for cycling and your goggles for swimming.Bicycle, and trusty pairs of shoes for running and cycling: Get sturdy and reliable equipment that you own (not borrowed from a friend) and get comfortable with them. Getting used to equipment can do wonders on your progress!
  • Bicycle, and trusty pairs of shoes for running and cycling: Get sturdy and reliable equipment that you own (not borrowed from a friend) and get comfortable with them. Getting used to equipment can do wonders on your progress! 

  • Fluids: This can be a pre-mixed sports drink, nutrition gels, or good ol’ water. Fluid intake helps cool off your body, gives the needed boost of energy, and freshens your mouth.
  • Emergency repair kit: This includes spare tires (make sure you practice tire replacement!), a bike pump, and band-aids. But the point is that can bring anything that you may need in case of an emergency.
  • Other wearable and protective stuff you need may include a Wetsuit (for added buoyancy), sunglasses (to see better on different weather conditions), hat or visor (extra shade), body glide and sunscreen (skin application to prevent sunburns, chafing, and blisters), chapstick (the most neglected part that needs to be protected are your lips!), a GPS and Heart Rate Monitor, and a towel (make sure it stands out).

Post-race:

The race will end eventually, and it will surely be time to celebrate like never before. But before you shout “victory!”, you still have a few things to list down in your triathlon checklist just to be sure:

  • Post-race clothing: You will feel victorious, but also a bit smelly and sticky (at least some of us…). Make sure you have a change of clothes, champ!
  • Recovery: Bring some extra sports drink, water, or food to recover faster from all that lost energy. 
  • A good attitude: It’s hard to be optimistic every day, especially during the big day. But it is important to keep the spirit of sportsmanship while still having fun along the way. 
  • Make sure you have PKRS.AI on to track all that data. Available to download for both iOS and Android, our team of expert coaches will analyze the progress of your pre- and post-triathlon and make sure that you recover quickly and get back in the game once again!

Triathlons are no easy feat, for sure. But with the right triathlon checklist, you can have an overall better experience, and focus more on maximizing your potential.

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Sources:

  • Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon, by Naroa Etxebarria, Iñigo Mujika, and David Bruce Pyne
  • Mental Preparation Techniques and Accomplishment of Race Goals by Ironman Triathletes: A Qualitative Investigation, by Kayla Frimmel
  • TRIATHLON: LONG COURSE – Sports Dietitians Australia