Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: preparation

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.

 

My Triathlon Packing Plan

It’s been four years since I’ve done an organized triathlon. Ick…that means four years of no open-water swimming. It also means four years of not packing for a triathlon or setting up a transition spot. I’m probably overthinking this, but I thought it would be a good idea to make my packing list official, that way I can make notes as I go and also refer back to it for ideas of things I can do differently.

I like to be pretty minimal on race day–no socks, no glasses, and no shirt unless the rules force me to wear one. This gives me the added strategical benefit of turning the stomachs of the competition in a tight race. The one thing I max out on is food.

Swim:
* Pack goggles, swimcap, race chip, watch
* Make sure to eat a Gu before starting the race

Bike:
* Pack bike shoes, helmet, heart rate monitor
* Make sure bike computer is set to 0 miles and average speed when setting up, one bottle of water on the bike (exchange for gatorade at mile 17).
* Eat an already opened Gu before leaving T1.

Run:
* running shoes, visor, race belt with 3 Gus, water to drink in T2 (not in a cycling bottle). Socks are coming with me this time–I have a really annoying cut on the bottom of my wee-wee-wee piggy.
* Shoes are untied, feet are clean and dry before putting on shoes, race number and Gus are attached to belt, ditch the HRM

Misc.:
Sidewalk chalk to mark my bike row, small towel for transition, big towel for post-race, beverages, plastic cups, many Gus, water, water, water

Wear To The Race
* Trishorts with same board shorts over to wear post-race, flip flops, t-shirt

Am I forgetting anything?

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