Nothing New on Race Day

It’s a truism every coach tries to impart to her athletes: Nothing new on race day. Folks often go crazy and decide to try a new product for nutrition or wear brand-new shoes that haven’t been tested for blister spots yet. Results are usually bad.

I enjoyed giving a presentation to the USA Triathlon coaching clinic held at the Wellness Center last weekend. I had a juicy topic—tri-specific training—and spent lots of time discussing the finer points of transitions. (On that topic, check out “Triathlon Transitions” on the Endurance Films site; it’s got lots of great tips.)

At the end, I opened the floor for coaches’ horror stories, in the hopes we’d get a laugh and learn from others’ mistakes. Some were gruesome, involving bodily harm, including an amputated toe; the best was from a guy who, upon realizing he’d forgotten his Body Glide, bought a new tube at a race expo. He wondered why it had a red label, but proceeded to apply it everywhere it’d usually go (including, per the Body Glide Web site, “groin”) before he realized this was the warming formula. Not good.