The sport of triathlon can be exciting, exhilarating, and empowering. It consists of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Most triathletes train hard to make sure they are in shape and ready to go on race day. Often, with all of the focus on physical training, the mental aspect is overlooked. It is a well known fact that the mental aspect of training is as important as the physical and can make or break a successful triathlon performance. Two significant components of mental training take place before and after the race.
Before the Race
It is very normal to be nervous before a race, especially if it is your first one. There are a lot of pieces to assemble and a lot to do before a triathlon. You may experience doubts about your training, your athletic ability, and your stamina. Your fears may all emerge at once-will the water be too cold, are there sharks, can I ride the hills, can I make it on the run, will I be last in the race, etc. While a little nervousness can be a good thing, even a motivator, too much can paralyze you and ruin your good time.
Combat Pre-Race Jitters
Be well prepared. There is a lot of equipment involved in a triathlon, and it is important to have everything you need well in advance.
Know the course. Drive it the day before so there are no surprises.
Trust your training; it will carry you through the race.
Don’t worry that you haven’t trained enough, but give it your all on race day. Know that it is the best that you have on that day. You can evaluate your performance later and make appropriate changes or adjustments to your training.
Think of the race day as a long training day. You are out there with your friends doing what you love!
Remember why you decided to do this in the first place-to get in shape, to make new friends, to do something you have never done before, to test your limits, and hopefully to have fun.
Think about how good you will feel when you cross the finish line. You will get a very cool finisher’s medal, and your friends and family will be very proud of your accomplishment!
After the Race
It is also normal to experience some type of let down after the race. After all, you’ve put so much time and energy into training, you’ve seen yourself become more toned and fit, you’ve met a whole new group of enthusiastic athletic friends, you have an energetic and supportive coach, and you are having the time of your life.
You have a great time on race day, and suddenly it hits you: the race is over – now what? You may feel low or lethargic, you may feel lonely or feel a void, you may miss your workouts and your training buddies. Fortunately, if this happens, there are things you can do.
Just knowing what the feeling of post race let down is and anticipating it can help.
Have something else planned for after the race-another race, event, or different type of goal.
Reconnected with friends, family, work or projects that were put aside during training.
Most importantly, why not make triathlon a lifestyle? You can join TriMore Fitness’ team training plan as a way to keep yourself motivated, connected, and in shape between events and during the off season.