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Not without a banana

Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Mon May 21 2012

Many of us have distinct rituals before a race and this author insists to have at least one banana as part of his pre-race meal. We also inquired about the rituals of various Pros.

I have just always enjoyed bananas and so it is not really surprising that a banana would be part of the required pre-race meal. Most anything else can change, but a banana must be present. It doesn't mean that I would not or could not race without that golden fruit, but it certainly puts my mind at ease if that is already taken care of. Otherwise I might be roaming the transition area looking for a banana tree or someone with an extra banana, instead of getting my transition area ready.

But what do some of the Pros do?

"I really enjoy having dinner the night before with friends and family. It's relaxing, and a way for me to hang out with the people who support me the most," said US Olympian Gwen Jorgensen.

Olympic champion Simon Whitfield has music on his mind on race morning. "I listen to Anger as Beauty by Hawksley Workman and Lighting Bolt by Joel Plaskett Emergency, then 'Ahead by a century' and 'makeshift as we are' by Tragically Hip."

"I don't think I have any real superstitions. I am certainly a creature of 'routine' - I eat the same breakfast (which does include a banana), wear the same clothing - pair of tights and a long sleeve Specialized base layer and then jackets/over pants as needed for weather, etc," said Ironman Texas winner Jordan Rapp. "But I don't think that's really anything more than minimizing as many variables as I can on race morning."

"When I was a swimmer I had a few rituals. It got to a stage where I had to wear a certain cossie for a certain stroke and splash myself x number of times. One day I decided it was all stupid and stressful and so I stopped and haven't really taken up any new ones," said 2010 Ironman 70.3 champion Jodie Swallow. "I like to have James there to get a lucky hug, but that really is all!"

Swimming seems to be a good place to start rituals, and that is true for 2012 Rev3 Costa Rica champion Cameron Dye too. "Morning of I always eat 2 packets of instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal. It started with 5am high school swim practice and has been a morning ritual for every triathlon I have ever done."

For 2012 Ironman 70.3 ST. Croix champion Andy Potts it is also about breakfast. "I'm a muffin man! I need to have a muffin on race morning. There are one muffin races, two muffin races, and the very rare three muffin race, this is usually because I didn't eat enough the night before. My stomach handles muffins well and for some reason I just love muffins. I've tried other things but a muffin is easy to put down and settles my nervous tummy as well as my nervous mind."

2012 ITU Tri Cross World Champion Conrad Stoltz also had a few thoughts. "After 20 years as a pro I know superstitions are nothing but that. Here are a few things I do before every race. Visualize my race while still in bed (and then my wife spoils me with good coffee and breakfast in bed) and these days she make sure I get to the race on time and not running in freaking out, just before the start - so I have lots of time to prepare... to the surprise of the other athletes. I'm really meticulous about checking my tire pressure and tire choice. 1 psi could mean the difference between great traction and getting a flat."

For 4-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington it is very simple. "I read Rudyard Kipling's If."


So what do you do regularly before a race? You can tell us with your Facebook comments.

  

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