So it’s the day before your race and you’re at the expo. Money is burning a hole in your pocket and there are so many cool things you’d love to buy.
A sleek time trial helmet - surely it’s faster than my current helmet?
The latest model of my favourite running shoes has been released? Great!
Oh I like those shorts. They’d be much better than my normal pair which are getting old.
Socks? The better half will kill me if I buy another pair but you can’t have too many.
Bike shoes. Sweet. So much lighter than my current pair. And they look hot.
Gels? Oh that’s an interesting new flavour. I might try that.
Protein bars. I was reading about them the other day. And I hate eating breakfast before a race. Maybe I’ll try these instead.
If you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard what I’m about to say - and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve said it — we’d both be knocking back a Mai Tai on a beach in Bora Bora right now.
But we aren’t.
So here goes…
Please, for the sake of all-things-holy-in-the-world-of-endurance-sports, max out the credit card and shop up a storm — but don’t do anything new on race day.
Repeat after me…
Whether you’ve been training for your race for 8 or 18 weeks, you’ve been through too much to risk the outcome of your race on something that isn’t tried and tested - by you.
All those late nights and early mornings, time you could have spent with your family but instead fell asleep on the couch or took yourself to bed as soon as the streetlights came on.
Not to mention all the injuries, bruises, bike crashes that resulted in missing skin and painful showers, physio visits, blisters, strained calf muscles, angry achilles, ITB pain, blood, sweat and sometimes even tears.
You’ve worked too hard and sacrificed too much to risk the outcome of your race on…
… a helmet that gives you a headache or keeps sliding down your forehead
…running shoes that leave you bleeding, your heels rubbed raw by the change to the lining in the latest model
…shorts that leave you so badly chafed you walk like a cowboy who’s been riding without a saddle
…socks that piss you off so much, you want to stop mid-race and tear them off
…bike shoes that leave your toes so numb you struggle to walk when you get off your bike
…gels and protein bars that….well, I don’t even want to go there!
By all means, spend your money, shop up a storm and show off your purchases on Facebook. Just hold off using them until your next training session. The potential time you (might) save - which is likely to be minor anyway - isn’t worth risking all your hard work.
Repeat after me…
Now go and enjoy your race - while I pour us both a Mai Tai….
So what race day mistakes have you made? If you're brave enough, leave a comment below and share your mistakestory!