I am definitely one for a list or a spreadsheet. Below is the process I generally go through in the final few days in preparation for a race.
Make sure you pack your intended race food. If it is a longer race I pack my food into labelled zip lock bags for each section of the race. This saves me stressing in the last few days before the race. It is important that you have tested your race nutrition before the race, it is not the time to try new things in the final days before the race.
A few days before I leave I run my eye over my checklist just to ensure the condition of all my gear is good to race with.
As a priority before I leave I always get my bike checked, my race wheels are put on and the bike gets a once over from my mechanic. I also check my spares to ensure they are in good condition and are functioning correctly. Sometimes you might not have the right length valve extenders etc. Sort all this out before you leave. I also check my goggles are clean and new and are appropriate for the course I am headed too. I make sure I have a sufficient amount of Skin Strong creams etc, particularly for long races.
I make sure my last proper massage is no later than the Wednesday if the race is a Sunday race. Any closer and you risk some minor bruising and or muscle damage from the treatment.
I try and charge my GPS and bike computer before I leave as well as my electronic gears. I typically do this all at once so that I know that I am ready to roll once I arrive.
Confirm accommodation and transfers
I have myself and I know of others who don't do this and arrive to find they have booked a day short or a day long. It is worth a double check to stop a panic or additional costs at the destination. It is also worth checking your baggage allowance and any additional fees for your bike, particularly if you are flying to the USA.
Read the race booklet
The race booklet and schedule is worth a read before you leave. You don't need to study it but you should know the key times and dates to avoid panic later.
Take a quick look at the facilities and how they place in comparison to your accommodation. Will you need transport to the pool? Can or do you need to do any important sessions and how will you get there.
Aside from this I am very particular about ensuring all my equipment has arrived at my house before I leave for a race. Sometimes this is not possible, for example race flats and other products may have to arrive at the venue. It is really important to follow things up regularly to ensure they will arrive on time and / or in the correct place. Never assume!!
Great advice from an experienced professional to help you feel completely prepared - make sure you have the best possible start for your next race!
(Pic: Korupt Vision)
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