Leaving for my first triathlon..
Saturday, June 30, 2012
update for my Sparkfriends. I have finally packed everything, gone over my lists and done the Santa thing and checked them twice. I look at all the race numbers I have up on my wall and realize that one thing never changes... race day anxiety for your first event. Although I have done many events and have a pretty solid pre-race routine, the anxiety is still there for any event that I consider important.
With a triathlon, there is much more to take into consideration. If you are into OCD multitasking, this is the sport for you.
One thing that really helps me is for weeks, I mentally rehearse my transitions and the event and talk to others who have done it to see if there is anything I am not considering. While battle plans rarely survive contact with the enemy, mentally rehearsing scenarios will go a long way in preventing or coping the vast number of issues that may occur. Such things being the transition area layout, the course layout and so on.
It was very useful to ride through the bike course and identify those area where there might be safety issues such as sharp corners, areas of loose gravel, hard hills etc... it was also useful to identify those areas that were flat and fast for general recovery and fueling as well, especially before coming into T2 from the bike to the run.
Another thing that helps me greatly is the philosophy that i use for my long runs. Long runs are race day rehearsal. What you will do the day before, on race morning and before the start. Those routines must be hammered out with such familiarity that regardless of the level of pre-race and race day anxiety, you can methodically do the critical tasks by the numbers without the mental fog causing you to miss important details that will hurt you later.
Another important thing is to have packing lists weeks or months in advance and update them. What tastes better? Something slow brewed in a crock pot or something spit out after 10 min in a microwave? If you give your mind a long time to ponder a certain subject, there will be far better results than something hurriedly thrown together a few days prior. It is far less likely to miss important stuff, the little stuff that makes a difference. Prepare and ponder early. let the mind process it often for better results.
A little anxiety is perfectly normal, healthy and necessary. I said a little. It is beneficial to have a little anxiety because it places the situation that demands our attention in the forefront and keeps it there. It helps you keep your edge and kicks you in the butt to keep you training.
However too much causes you to continually second guess your training and that leads to bad mistakes such as overtraining and going crazy during the taper.
When I get there, I have a short list of prep work to do then it is relaxation time. time to chill.
I've got this, short of a major mechanical problem on the bike, I know I will do just fine.
Ok dudes and dudettes, I'm outta here. time to hit the road.
TTYL.... time to bring it.