There can be a lot of worries during race week, right up until you find your loved ones after crossing the finish line. But here are a few tips to minimize those stresses.
Lot’s of topics can go into the category of “There’s nothing you can do to change that, so don’t waste energy worrying about it.” And “Staying calm is the easiest way to deal with what may get thrown at you on race day”. Included here are the swim conditions, others drafting, flat tire, wind, weather conditions, and your training.
Being confident and positive is also a necessity if you want to save energy for race day. Questioning your training, your ability, your future or your past and having anything but a positive answer will undermine your mental strength come race day. Best not to ask the questions. Just believe you are ready. Race day is completely mental. You can’t get fitter, stronger, or more rested, so it comes down to doing the best you can with what your body has on race day and that depends on countless decisions throughout the race. Decisions made by you, not your body. Staying aware of technique, power, cadence, and heart rate (you don’t need computers/monitors to tell you when you are pushing too hard) will keep you efficient, and provide the best outcome. When to drink, eat, rest, push, stretch, cool down with ice/water, and many other options will appear for you, and making the correct choice will make or break your race.
The weather conditions are no need to worry. You can simply prepare your T1, T2, and bike/run special needs bags with options that you can use if need be. And everyone has the same conditions on race day, and everyone has the same worries you might have. Whatever you think is tough, the others are thinking the same, but you need to deal with it better than them. Be confident and positive, be the best you can be, and don’t question if others are faster than you, because they are not you. You are the only one that can show, and know, if you are stronger than you were before you started this journey.
Be prepared. In Kona, race week is hectic if you participate in a few of the extra activities. The days go incredibly fast once you add in training, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, getting your bike ready with race wheels, tuning, attaching spares and aero drink bottles and double testing everything out on the road (there are some huge bumps in the first 10km of the ride), stopping to chat to friends, the undie run, parade of nations, check in, bike check in, team/nation meetings, expo, family time, daily naps, massages, etc. etc. It is never ending. Make sure you have a schedule for every little item in race week and allow extra time (bumping into friends, traffic/parking, getting distracted) for everything. Being prepared and relaxed will help save energy for race day, and make the experience more enjoyable and memorable for you, but mostly for your family!
Remember to find your loved ones as soon as you finish. It’s a really long day for them (I’ve been told), and they have given so much to help you get there that now that your race is over it’s time to re introduce yourself to them and get them involved in your life once again! Haha. It’s great to obsess over your splits with a thousand other competitors, but make sure you don’t forget your family standing there waiting to get to the beach to spend time with you.
If you need a reminder of why you do this, or how to cope with the pain when it comes, checkout the video section of my homepage and watch the my finish line speech from 2015. Whether it’s the pain, the challenge, your loved ones you are racing for (or with), or maybe it’s a little hot out there, remember you LOVE this.