11 Keys to a Successful Ironman Louisville

What's the Biggest Mistake I Can Make?

Without a doubt, don't overcook on the bike, especially on the hills. We highly recommend you commit yourself to "Just Riding Along" for the first 90 to 120 minutes, ignoring the others around you. Specifically, you need to stay on top of your hydration, making sure you take in enough fluid through the heat and all of the terrain changes. Pay attention and drink.

Also, the last 40 miles of the bike course are pretty fast, and you want to be able to take advantage of that by not being That Guy. You know, the one who is too shelled from having drilled himself for 70 miles and is now banished from the aerobars for 40 miles thinking about how in the world can he possibly run a marathon in this heat with these legs.

In other words, it pays to be smart so you can finish fast and confidently instead of slowly and terrified of the run.

More: The Most Common Race-Day Mistake

What Is the Temperature Like on Race Day?

Bad news? It's gonna be hot. Hot and humid. Good news? You know it's going to be hot and humid—it's Kentucky in August! Trust us, that piece of mind versus the unknown of other races (such as IMCDA, IMUSA, or IMWI) is actually very valuable. Pretty much everyone in the U.S. should have plenty of time to train in the heat before the event, so the temperature is usually not the problem that it sometimes is at other, less weather-consistent races.

More: 5 Ways to Stay Cool on Race Day

What's Your Top Swim Tip?

Only go as fast as your ability to maintain good form. If your form begins to go because you are tired or working too hard, just slow down. It's a long day, so don't sweat two to three minutes on the swim. Don't try to get all Ricky Racer with drafting and current strategy—swim your swim and you'll be fine.

More: Secrets to a Successful Ironman Swim

What's Your Top Bike Tip?

You're basically warming up until about mile 40 of the bike (don't worry, the hammerheads will come back to you or you'll see them on the run). After that, ride steady and stay on top of your nutrition.

What's Your Top Run Tip?

Run very easy for the first six miles, then settle into your pace, preparing for the real race that starts at mile 18. At mile 18, put your head down and get it done. Count the number of people you're passing and keep your head in the game. You can do anything for eight miles.

More: 4 Keys to Ironman Execution

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Interested in learning more about how to race the Iron distance? Take our Ironman Triathlon Execution Seminar: everything you need to know about how to race Ironman in 7 FREE lessons! And we'll even send you a FREE copy of our Four Keys of Ironman Execution DVD, a $37 value!

About the Author

Endurance Nation is the world's only 400-person long-course triathlon team, with 25 to 35 athletes in every U.S. Ironman this season. Find out more at EnduranceNation.us.

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