Race day is just around the corner.
You have trained your butt off for several months, if not years. You have made endless sacrifices throughout the process. You feel fit and confident. Simply put, you are in the best shape of your life and ready to have the race you have envisioned.
Not so fast!
While proper training and preparation is extremely important, the ability to execute on race day will ultimately decide your outcome. The longer the race or event you are participating in, the more important execution becomes as mistakes are magnified. This realization may rattle your nerves a bit, but fear not. Here are five execution strategies to help you dominate your next triathlon.
Break it Down
Iron-distance triathlons are LONG and they can also be very intimidating. Instead of looking at the race as a whole, it's often easier to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Start by breaking the race into three pieces. Swim, bike & run. There's a good chance you have already done the distance for each leg individually (or very close to it) on a training day. Thinking about it this way will help your confidence.
After you break the race apart by discipline, you can also cut each leg into pieces. For example, multi-loop courses like Ironman Lake Placid can be broken down by loop. Even if your race does not have multiple loops, you can break down the distance within each part of the race. For example, try dividing the 26.2 miles of the marathon into three parts: 10 miles, 10 miles and 10K (For half marathons, 5 miles, 5 miles and 5K). Those three separate distances are much less intimidating than the whole.
Finally, it is very effective to view each leg (swim, bike and run) as a "new day." This way, if you have a miserable swim or you're just not a strong swimmer, it's ok. You get to start over on the bike. It's a new day! The same idea applies if you have a crappy bike.