The current issue of Running Times (September/October) has an article titled Never Satisfied written by Richard A. Lovett. It's a very well written article about runners trying to achieve perfectionism and how that's not exactly the best approach. This article is very applicable to triathletes... especially since triathletes tend to be type A people (of course not all triathletes are).
Also, striving for perfectionism sets yourself up for regular disappointment and sucks the fun out of training and racing. A lot of people focus so hard on just the results rather than the experience of the race or training. I fully agree with Lovett, "...shift from thinking only about the outcome to focusing on the drama and experience of the entire event: from training through race-day preparation, strategy, tactics, and everything else that goes into a race."
When in a perfectionist mindset you are more focused on the outcome. Shift your focus to mastery instead. By doing this it will allow you to still become a better athlete without the mental stress of having to have everything perfect.
Only having the end goal in mind... i.e. 2:50 for a 70.3... will most likely set you up for disappointment. Instead set two goals for a race. Have an A goal and a B goal. Your A goal should be something ambitious but realistic and the B goal should be something you know for sure you can achieve and be satisfied with.
Every great athlete and achiever has had many failures and some pretty big ones. You learn from them and get better because of it. Often times you learn more from your failures than from your successes.
So stay positive, make realistic goals, enjoy the experience, and smile!!
Sunday, August 2, 2015
It's so important to practice your race nutrition! Never a good idea to try something new on race day. Long run and/or long ride days are good opportunities to practice pre-race dinner and breakfast... plus race nutrition.
Everyone's different and can handle different things. For me what's always worked well for a pre-race dinner has been fish, cooked veggies, and a fist size serving of pasta. I try to eat before 8pm the night before a race. (If it's going to be a hot race I salt my food and drink extra water race week.) For breakfast (longer races 1/2 marathon, 1/2 iron, full iron) I eat a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a banana plus a big glass of water... Ironman I added a glass of juice. For a sprint or olympic race usually just the bagel and pb. I eat breakfast 2-3 hours before my wave starts. Depending on the distance I may take a gel about 10 minutes before my wave starts. I've worked with dietitians while training for my Ironman races and it really helped me dial in my pre-race and race day nutrition.
Race day nutrition greatly varies depending on the distance. A sprint you may only need hydration or a small amount of calories for a boost at the end. Olympic distance - typically once maybe twice on the bike (nutrition) and once more halfway through the run. Half iron and full iron you'll obviously need more nutrition... generally the rule is 100-200 calories an hour. You have to experiment with how much your body can handle and what types of products work well for you. For the full iron on the bike I typically take in small bites of Clif bar plus Accelerade or Tailwind. Run I only do liquid nutrition. The longer you are going the harder it is for your stomach to digest since your blood and energy is working so hard to keep your brain and muscles functioning. Keeping a close eye on your nutrition timing is pretty important during a race.
Again, everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you... That's the beauty of training... you have the time to try out what will work race day.
Good luck to everyone this season!!