Deciding To Have A Bad Race

Here’s the thing…

A big part of what goes on in a triathlon is mental. The longer the distance, the more mental it becomes. Maybe “mental” isn’t even the right word. “Psychological” probably fits better.

I totally get obsessing about the details of a long distance event. But I try to keep the obsession part limited to things I can control. Those are the things that will ultimately have the greatest impact on my performance.

My training into the race.

My diet and nutrition.

My taper.

My sleep in the days leading up.

My bike maintenance. Ok…I don’t obsess about everything.

Now I’m not saying I don’t want to know as many race details as I can beforehand–I still want to know as much as I can as soon as I can. And I understand being frustrated when there don’t seem to be many details as race day nears. Those details are vital to know for race day preparation, which is something I have complete control over and starts at least a week in advance, especially when traveling.

Then again, not having those details gives me less to obsess about. I can just plan for the worst and be done with it. Then if something changes for the better, the race gets easier.

But focusing on the perceived negatives of those details (wave start times, aid station locations, transition open/close times, etc.)–I don’t see any upside to that. Focusing on what I don’t like about race director decisions isn’t going to get me anywhere on race day. Those are things that can be considered after the race is completed and I’m considering whether or not to do an event again.

I’ve been one-and-done on a few races because of horribly inaccurate course measurements and the lack of officials to stop my competition from cutting a course, but those are decision I made once the race was over.

Before and during the race, you have to play the hand you are dealt. Otherwise, you are basically making a conscious decision to have a bad race.

There are already plenty of negative surprises that can crop up during a race that I’m going to have to deal with, so why add others to the list that I simply can’t control.

I hope I never have to change two flats early in the bike leg. But if I do, I’ll be glad I didn’t worry about the fact that my favorite flavor gel wasn’t served at the aid stations.

 

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