Friday, May 1, 2009

Surviving Your Destination Race

Wildflower is an exception in triathlon as pretty much everyone is forced to camp together before the race. It is not unusual however to do destination races where you camp out, or are forced into confined spaces, with fellow triathletes. It can be a ton of fun but no one can deny triathletes are a strange breed and concentrating them in a small space can sometimes create a feeding frenzy. Here is my survival guide:

Pre-race chill
Remove Yourself From Stress
Camping and going away with a bunch of like minded peeps is great fun. But, some people (including yourselves probably), can be frigging ridiculous a day or two before the event because of nerves and excitement. Someone will undoubtedly start to drive you crazy and some stage of race weekend so have an escape plan. If you can't get to a cinema have an iPod and/or a non-triathlon related book and go hide in a tent and chill for an hour or two.

"You haven't or didn't ________? Really. Why not?"
Someone has some thing or did some sort of preparation that you've never heard of and you start to freak out that you haven't got it or done it. Don't. Let them think that they have the answer and if you are really concerned give your coach a call and sort out the rubbish from the facts. In my experience, what makes the biggest difference is the training you've already put in the bank.

Feel Strange. Be Normal
You are probably feeling a little strange from your taper. Don't worry, this is normal, once you get going on race day you will feel great. Don't do anything to unusual to your body just because you have a race. Your body doesn't like that. Drink when you're thirsty - don't drown yourself. Choose the pasta dish instead of the egg scramble but don't eat pasta breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just be normal! Remember those training sessions where you felt absolutely great? Did you eat large volumes of pasta or do special limbering up exercises? No, you were just being normal....

Accept now that you are not going to sleep well the night before the race. And you know what? If you've slept well during the week it doesn't matter. Research shows that one night's lost sleep has little effect on performance. This should help you sleep easier....
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