How nervous do you get before a race?

First tri fast approaching - this Saturday.

I've been trying to have early nights this week (usually never in bed before 11.30/12), but I can't sleep.
I'm on a rollercoaster of feeling calm and organised, then plunging towards near panic.
My wonderful mentor tells me this is perfectly normal (and I believe her).
Does it ease off as you do more races?

Maybe I should lay of the pints of espresso? 


  • change the pints of expresso to pints of beer .that should help............

    I get the mixed emotions of excitment and nervousness..which i think is the perfect mix to start a raceimage

  • Hey image Its ok to be a bit apprenhensive, especially as its your first one!! i am also new to this and the thought of the big day can be a bit image

    I like the nervy feeling though, gets me hyped up a bit image I know a few people who let the big event really get to them and it does them no favours at all.

    I find that making sure all my kit is super organised and ready to go really helps me the night before. I found a list online and i go through that to make sure i don't forget my bike or something hopeless. Helps me sleep (a teeny bit) easier and takes off at least 25% off that arrghhhhhhh feeling in the morning image

    I am from a running background, i certainly get more spun out for tri's then i do for marathons. But for both events i find, honestly, that as soon as i get started the nerves totally go and i really enjoy it image 

  • Nurse Ratched (Baconlube CEO) wrote (see)

    My wonderful mentor tells me this is perfectly normal (and I believe her).

    That's your first problem - she's a well know liar image


  • 6 pints of lager does the trick for me - but not for everyone image 

  • Less of that, Raf, or we'll come round your house in the dead of night, I'll bring a bedpan straight out of the freezer and she'll magic your legs to lead so you can't run away image

  • In short, yes, I was just like that a mOnth ago before my first one. I did three things - checklist, like Oii, kept telling myself it was just a practice so whatever goes wrong will be something to learn for next time, and called whatever I was feeling excitement rather than nerves, as this reminds me I'm supposed to be enjoying myself!!

    Good luck!!
  • Doner Kebab wrote (see)

    6 pints of lager does the trick for me - but not for everyone image 

    There were several shots involve as well if I remember rightly ..... although things are a little fuzzy about that evening!!

  • Yeah!! What she said image

    Watchit Rafi

    If you watch a lot of the IM threads in the lead up week you will find a lot of people dealing with not being able to sleep, waking early, start nightmares (errr some of which come true) and so on

    If you worries or whatever is keeping you from sleeping are organisational ones then write them down before bed, keep a pen & paper by your bed - not necc to use but as a comfort blanket to know that it's there

    You won't stop the nerves and neither should you but you can deal with them better
  • I still get nervous when I race no matter whether its running, swimming or triathlon.
    Eating on race morning is a nightmare as I have absolutely no appetite and have to force myself to eat something.

    However, after the race has started all of the nerves vanish due to the excitement of the event and concentrating on what I'm doing.

    Good luck for Saturday.

  • Nervousness, apprehension, yes, it's quite normal... and it all dissapears the second you hear that start gun, you're too busy then getting onto it!

  • I suffer from dodgy guts big time before a tri but found 1/2 litre of chocolate milk surprisingly palatable image


  • I think you might need to decide what you are nervous of, the actual event, i.e. swim, doing something silly and thinking you will look daft, mechanicals.

    There are some things you can't sort and some that you can, focus on those you can, i.e. how to fix punctures, knowing the rules etc.

    Nerves are good to a certain extent but this should be the sort of 'first date' nerves that are slightly giddy and not let them build to the 'swimming with sharks' type of nerves that make you wee yourself.

    Get some paper and try to plan out your week. Work back from the day to today and then add in the givens, if you are working etc.

    Then add your training sets that you will do up to the race.

    Then add the bits that you need to do FOR the race, registration, racking, preparation of kit.

    There shouldn't be a lot of time left to worry in, try to think back to your first race in a single discipline, my first 10k I went to the toilet 3 times before the start and had sweaty palms, that was only 10 years ago, now I ride 50 miles to a 1/2 marathon, turn up late, and you just get on with it.

    On race day try not to watch the faces of others as there will be others who are scared and this won't help but do watch what others do, most are very focused on getting kit ready, getting to the start with a bit of time to go and then getting on with it. 

    I am sure you will do great but if in doubt on the day, don't be afraid to ask someone, don't pick the guy with the fastest looking bike and kit, they are probably too focused on them selves, look for someone who looks comfy, relaxed and returns you eye contact, they probably want to chat as well.

    Race well

  • Thanks for all this, you wonderful people.  Tonight, I will be packing the weans off to bed and writing a (long) list.

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I used to get nervous before races - not any more though, experience takes away the nerves.

    It only took about ten years image

  • Have you seen the queue for the toilets??? You're not alone!!


  • Grendel3Grendel3 ✭✭✭

    Am running my first 5K tonight for 14 years and my 5th race since I started to run again after a 12 year break - my last 5k all those years ago was a pb of 16.22 - I am expecting to run around 26 minutes tonight and I am nervous already!!!!

  • I think your first tri is the mast nerve racking. You really don't know what to expect.

    Enjoy and start to love portaloos image

  • The nauseated insomniac stage seems to have passed image, and I'm now really looking forward to tomorrow (still nervous, but good nerves), and just getting there and getting on with it. 
    I've gone over everything in my head, thought through the bits I was really worrying about, and sorted all my kit.
    Now I just have to make some flapjack and enjoy the massage I've booked for this afternoon. 

  • And ??
  • It's on the Fatman to Ironman thread. Too lazy to type it all again! As it turned out, excitement overtook nerves on the day. 

  • Found it, good effort. Backs are shit. Treat it as a training run. 

  • Thanks Dustboy. I'd be fibbing if I said I was ok with it, because I am disappointed, but there's no point moping about it.
    Going to tri shop for a bike fit either Wed or Thu, and have physio booked for Fri. Tally ho!

  • Take your bike shoes too, with any luck they will set up your cleat alignment too. Can make a big difference to a dodgy back.

  • Yep, the guy in the shop said to bring my shoes. Will see what the physio thinks about aero bars.  Off to clean my bike!

  • Ok sorry don't frequent over there, will have a look ????
  • You dont know what you are missing Mr Rose   image

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