Lucy Charles-Barclay’s top 5 tips for race-day

She holds the Kona swim record and has finished runner-up on four occasions. Yes, it’s the one and only Lucy Charles-Barclay and she’s here with her top tips for tri race day

Credit: Getty Images for Ironman

Break the race down


Take the race one step at a time. Focus on what you’re doing now, how you’re feeling and how you think you’ll feel in five minutes time. This should help you pace the race correctly. Keep a clear head and break the race down into sections. Don’t rush frantically in transitions, be controlled and focused and you’ll race faster. Towards the end of the swim and bike think about your transition process.

Learn to deal with setbacks

In a triathlon a lot can go wrong, and it’s how you deal with those things that can make or break your race. I’ve rarely ever had a completely perfect race, but I’ve still had great results. Don’t let small mistakes ruin your race, focus on what is going well and all the hard work you’ve put in to get to the start line. Always try to remain in a positive mindset.

Stick to your own race plan

Have a clear race strategy and stick to your own plan. A triathlon can be a long race and it’s not over until it’s over. Just because someone goes off hard in the swim doesn’t mean you should. Don’t burn all your matches in the early stages of the race, it’s better to finish strong rather than be walking on the run.

Nail your nutrition

Always practise your nutrition strategy in training. Test how many calories you can consume per hour
and train your gut to deal with different levels of sugar, electrolytes and caffeine. Never change things on race day as this can often lead to GI stress and potential for DNF’s.

Test your kit

Test your race-day kit in training. Always try your wetsuit, tri-suit, trainers, etc. in training. You want to make sure you don’t get any unnecessary chafing or blisters. Try using lube and talcum powder to ease any kit rubbing, which is likely on long-distance triathlons. Like your nutrition, never use anything new on race day – practice makes perfect.


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