As females we have a bit more preparation than men, that includes our hair! Because of this my entire night-before-triathlon ritual was born. Pairing this with my regular nutrition of water and an appropriately filled carbohydrated meal - I feel ready to rock.
#1 Baby ShampooUse baby shampoo as a fog deterrent in your googles. Let is sit in googles for about 15 minutes, wash out but DO NOT WIPE IT. I rinse it until I see no bubbles on it because then I'd end up with shampoo in my eyes the next day. As a mom, I have baby shampoo bottles galore laying around. So I opt for this instead of a fog-solution. I have found that both work equally well. Plus then I have one less bottle to carry in my bag because then I can use the baby shampoo for my hair as well! While I'm not a fan of J&J shampoo for hair and body on a regular basis, I've found it works best for anti-fogging. I also recommend Aveeno.
#2 DeodorantThis sounds strange to put on your deodorant the night before but trust me! After I take the shower, I put on the deodorant to allow it time to get into my pores to cut down on sweat and stink the next day.
#3 Braid my hairThe last thing I want to think about on the day of the race is my hair but, let us be honest, we want our race pictures to look awesome right? Even more so than that, I want my hair in a set up that won't get in the way on race day, particularly for the bike. I used to do buns when I swam and it worked great, but then you have to add time removing the bun to a lower position in order to get the bike helmet on, then on the run it feels weird as it hits your neck. I have taken to two french braids as that is easiest for me to do myself but regular braids, or one long braid will work as well. To do this I condition my hair well (preferably with a color-protection shampoo since I have color-treated hair. When I rinse it I try to only rinse about 75% to it stays as a mask to protect the color from the sun and open water yuckiness. Plus then it makes it easier to braid as well. Taking a spray gel I will spray and comb it through. Braid. Spray it again. When I wake up, I spray it with the gel again. I don't want those suckers to move or come un-done with cap/hemet/visor put on and removal. Hint: Body-glide your braids the next morning. Seriously - as it rubs against your neck you may end up with some chaffing. You'll notice with the bag contents I include extra hairbands to keep one on my wrist in case a hair band breaks during the race, plus I have my spray gel in my transition bag just in case I need to reapply that next morning.
#4 Glide it UpApply body glide to my tri kit so that in the morning I can just slip it on. The key to body glide? Whatever moves or creases, glide it.
#5 Check your poopSorry ladies, gotta talk about it. You are probably in high-carbohydrate meals the few days before and this can stop you up. Make sure you've checked to see if you've already gone to the restroom approximately dinner time the night before. If you haven't gone - I suggest getting a decaf coffee or prune juice so that you have at least 12 hours before arrival at the race to get it out of your system. You don't want to be worry about this the morning of OR having to go in the portapotties! Notes:
- You'll notice I didn't include shaving. I recommend that all shaving and/or waxing is done 48-72 hours prior to give it time to calm down. If you shave the night before you risk cuts, plus if it's "down there" then you will become irritated even with the use of baby cream or chamois cream.
- If you are nursing, try to pump before bed and do it as one of the last things before leaving the room. You never know how long delayed the race may be.