The Race

An image of the Wildflower Olympic start by Tony Farley
An image of the Wildflower Olympic start by Tony Farley

Race day is the day you trained for, the day you read books for, the day to enjoy moving and living just like every training day. You should expect your race to go like your training. You have done the distances in the swim, the bike, and the run. You have eaten the food and drank the fluids that you will use. Everything is the same but this is different because it is with hundreds, maybe thousands of athletes that have gone through the same thing as you. Your friends and family may be there to watch you do this crazy thing that few people ever do. You don’t want to fail. Failure is a cause of so much stress for the first time triathlete. You sit and imagine all the things that could go wrong and it’s really terrifying if you go through every bad scenario you can think of.

Your goal for race day is to not let any negative thoughts into your head. You shall not think a negative thought about yourself, your fellow racers, or even the weather. When you notice a negative thought, let it go. Maybe you’re worried about coming in last. Let it go. Last triathlete is still a triathlon finisher. Worried about getting a flat? You have two tubes and three CO2 canisters. You have changed a tube before. A tube change is a good time for a break. Find some shade, change your tube, and finish the ride-no worries. Worried the swim start? Heard stories about how crazy it can get in the washing machine? You’re not going to start with those crazies. You’re fine waiting for fifteen seconds while they go off and do their thing and then you will calmly start your race. Fifteen seconds is all it takes. You may find that you can start easily after five seconds!

You will follow your plan today and go easier than your training days. You will swim easy, taking a break if you need with a little breast stroke if you need to, and get out of the water calm and collected. You will walk quickly through transitions and get yourself ready for the next discipline, you will drink fluids every mile on the bike and enjoy the aid stations on the run. You will take your time, smile, thank all the course workers, and know that you got this. Do all this and the finish is inevitable.

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