Today the post its coming from Panama City, stage of Ironman Florida, so this post its dedicated to all people racing, but can be applied to any race.
First, when you get to a big race like, Ironman, 70.3, Marathon, etc, the environment it’s unreal. Most of the time the entire city it’s breathing sports. The energy going around its incredible, and you get really motivated, and it’s very easy to want to go out and train hard. That is when you need to control your anxiety, specially cause you are full of energy.So when you do your light workout before the race, remember to control your energy, trust me, you will need later on. I recommend 1 day off 2 days before the race and the day before do a light workout just to get some circulation.
Second, when you go to the expo you will see a lot of cool new stuff. Try to take the least amount of time in the expo and go rest. Look what you need to look, buy whatever you need to buy and rest, avoid walking around for to long. Also carry water wherever you go. Stay hydrated.
Third, stay positive and stay around calm people. Avoid getting near the crowds. The best thing you can do its to have a schedule, get your stuff ready as soon as possible to avoid any problems, and if something come up you will have plenty time to fix. Meditation and visualization can help you, remember if you can visualize you can materialize.
Fourth, stick with the plan, specially on race day. Before the race there is a lot of talking, time prediction, training paces etc, and your competitive side can get in the way, and you can start thinking about beating others, having a better time etc. Avoid that, stick with your plan, cause you are racing against yourself. Trust me, in an Ironman you will confront all your demons so you are racing against yourself all the time. You will have the angel telling you to run and the devil telling you to walk. The race its 90% mental.
Fifth, control yourself. When the gun goes off, control your pace and nutrition. Its a long day, and going a little above your intensity can cause you some precious energy in the end of the race. It’s a long day. My best tip is: Mile 80 in the bike you have to be feeling good. Remember that, mile 80 its when the race begins and the mental game start. So its very important to be feeling good on mile 80.
Good luck everyone. Enjoy your race, and remember you are an Ironman already because the training it’s a lot harder than the race.