Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

Pre­par­ing for a race goes be­yond the train­ing re­quired to com­pete against the field. Great prepa­ra­tion an­tic­i­pates the un­ex­pected and al­lows you to adapt to what­ever ob­sta­cle is pre­sented. To ward off me­chan­i­cal grem­lins, start with a clean and well-main­tained bike. Carry the min­i­mum tools re­quired to fix punc­tures and small me­chan­i­cal is­sues is a start; learn­ing how to quickly and ef­fec­tively deal with a flat or me­chan­i­cal is bet­ter. Prac­tice chang­ing a flat tire quickly and/or get com­fort­able us­ing a Pit­stop can­is­ter. You should have a gen­eral knowl­edge of how your drive train works and be able to make mi­nor ad­just­ments.

Watch the weather fore­cast to make sure you have the ap­pro­pri­ate gear and cloth­ing for any con­di­tions. Have a plan for how to make any last-minute de­ci­sions on what you plan to wear or keep in tran­si­tion. It is im­por­tant to be ready if there is a course change or de­lay. Have ex­tra food in case you drop your nutri­tion or if there is a start time de­lay. There are many curve­balls that can come your way – be pre­pared and or­ga­nized for pretty much any­thing.

An­tic­i­pate what you might do in the event of a me­chan­i­cal break­down or a fin­ish line sprint by vi­su­al­iz­ing it hap­pen­ing. The more de­tail you put into this men­tal re­hearsal the bet­ter. If you want to imag­ine fix­ing a flat tire on race day, start from when you first re­al­ize it needs to be fixed. Pic­ture the en­tire sce­nario: com­ing to a stop, re­mov­ing the wheel, tak­ing your tools out, fix­ing the punc­ture (all the steps you will take to quickly get this done), putting your wheel back on your bike, stor­ing the tools, get­ting back on your bike and re­join­ing the race.

Imag­ine a va­ri­ety of weather con­di­tions oc­cur­ring dur­ing the race and what you will be wear­ing. Think of any con­di­tions you might face in the swim and how you will deal with them. It is easy to imag­ine your race go­ing per­fectly, but most of the time this is not how things un­fold. Try to make your men­tal im­agery in­clude sce­nar­ios you would not choose and find ways to turn the chal­lenge into a suc­cess in your mind.

The best way to get the most out of the day is to ac­cept that th­ese are “the cards you’ve been dealt.” You don’t have to ac­cept that it is your best pos­si­ble per­for­mance, but you do need to do ev­ery­thing you can to make the most of it. There is no point lament­ing the cir­cum­stances while you are fac­ing them.

Don’t think about how things are go­ing and fo­cus on the process of rac­ing as fast as you can. Your mind will only think about one thing at a time, so fill your mind with so­lu­tions. Check your ego and prove to your­self what you can ac­com­plish.

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