We sat down with Alex Vanderlinden, member of Triathlon Ontario’s Long Course Development Team, to learn about his race day routine and how he preps for his races throughout the season.
Everything I do, I try to keep it simple. With every race having slight differences, I have found that taking a minimalist approach to the entire race weekend is best.
I am someone that doesn’t tend to get overly nervous on race morning, but if I start to run behind schedule, I get stressed so I always plan to be at the race site early and leave time for delays.
I will start by waking up 3-3.5 hours before the race to prepare a small breakfast of oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar and a bottle of F2C Glyco-durance. I will relax a bit usually just scrolling through Twitter before it is time to head to the race site.
I will usually aim to be at the race site 1.5 hours before the race is schedule to start as this gives me a lot of time to slowly get my stuff ready and make sure everything is set up. This gives me some time to socialize with friends before the race, and if something goes wrong I can fix it without panicking (I’ve torn two tubes while inflating my tires on race morning, and you don’t want to be panicking trying to find someone to fix it for you last minute).
About an hour before the race, I will head out for about a 10 minutes run and do some running drills to get the body warmed up.
20 minutes before the race starts, I will do the final check over of my transition are to make sure nothing has been bumped or knocked over before I head over to the water.
I try to get in the water as soon as possible to get a good swim warm up in. However, some races you can’t get in the water before so I will bring stretch cords and do some band exercises to get the arms ready to swim. The pro race goes out super fast, and if you aren’t prepared for a fast opening 400m you could lose the pack.
A few deep breaths, find my spot on the start line, and get prepared to go to war.