Monday, April 5, 2010

My First Triathlon

I remember around this time last year, I had my first triathlon. Although it is nice to reminisce about past performances, I think it is vital to use past experiences to enhance future ones. So here is a brief list of things I learned from my first season, that any newbie can definitely use:
  1. ALWAYS KNOW THE COURSE: In my second triathlon, I ended up passing the entrance on the bike course and road an extra 2 miles before realizing what I had done. Make sure you read the maps well, and either ride the course a week or so before the race, or at least drive the course the day before.
  2. WHEN ALL GOES TO HELL, REMAIN CALM: After the disaster on the bike during that race, I worked my self up so much that I completely bonked in the first part of the run. Murphy's Law rules in the racing domain as well, "All that can go wrong, will go wrong." There are two ways you can alleviate this: 1) prepare for the unexpected during training. Practice changing flat tires; practice sharp turnarounds, practice losing your cleat at speed and re-clipping; Practice grabbing water on your bike, Practice finding your bike in crowd, train in all weather conditions!!! If you have trained for unexpected, you will be in good shape come race day. 2) Except the fact that you can only control what's in front of you: Potholes, traffic, slow bikers, warm Gatorade, sharks, and overzealous fans are things that you have no control over. Don't waste your energy on things you cannot control. Focus more on the things you have control over, and you are guaranteed to be more successful.
  3. SET HIGH GOALS: Michelangelo once said," The danger in life isn't setting your goal to high, and failing to achieve it; it's setting your goal too low, and being able to reach it." You should translate this into your racing strategy as well.
  4. ALWAYS TRY EQUIPMENT BEFORE RACE DAY: This concept is pretty self explanatory, but you should never go with something that you haven't used in training. For instance, if you have ran in trainers for months, and then decided to use new flats the day of the race, you are asking for trouble. Be smart, the week or two before the race, make sure all your equipment you use is in good working order.
That's all the knowledge nuggets I have for now. Later!

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