The goal was to get under the three-hour mark and you ended up crossing the finish line more than 30 minutes later. You put in the training time, read all the books and got plenty of sleep the night before. So what went wrong? Here are four triathlon tips for after the race that will help you learn from your mistakes and reach your goal the next time around.
At the Finish Line
It can be difficult to celebrate when you just bonked and failed to meet your time goal. There's no need to fake it. But check yourself.
Take a breath, allow yourself to be upset and move on. You're probably tired, quite possibly dehydrated and hot. Immediately following a race, begin a regimented set of steps that will help you recover no matter what your finish time was. Take a seat, grab the wet towel that's been offered and start hydrating.
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This isn't about forgetting what happened—it's about making sure you don't keep piling on the mistakes. Failing to properly wind down after the race can cause problems in your recovery that will affect your training down the road.
At the Transition Area
The transition area can offer valuable clues to what went awry during your race. As you walk through the transition area take note of your surroundings. Pay attention to what your designated spot looks like. It's probably a bundle of clothes and gear. There's nothing wrong with that.
As you methodically collect your items, take little mental notes. Better yet, write it down. For example, maybe you had way too many items and it caused some confusion during your transition. Write it down. Or as you look at your bike, you're suddenly reminded about how you failed to carry enough fluid. Write it down.