Well its been a great winter for me. Training has gone pretty well and my overall training volume has been pretty solid, despite being very busy with my growing family and work. Peak Triathlon Coaching has also taken on a few new coaches and we’re growing. We also exhibited at the Tri-Mania expo in Boston for the first time. That went very well and we also defended our team competition title in dominating fashion. I ran my first stand alone mile since 5th grade in 4:48 which I was happy about. I just got a SICK new Ceepo Viper that I LOVE. 🙂
After what was a relatively mild winter here in New Hampshire, well as I write this, it did snow this morning and it is supposed to snow again tomorrow even though its April, but nonetheless, race season is finally here!!! I’m excited to race next weekend at Florida 70.3. With that, I wanted to provide a few quick recommendations for early season races.
Be Realistic With Your Expectations!
So hopefully you just finished up a kick ass, dedicated out season and you’re totally pumped for your first race of the season. Hopefully you’re feeling very fit and you’ve made some good gains over the winter. Even if this is the case, I strongly recommend you be realistic with your expectations for your first race of the season. If you’re in a situation like myself where you’ve done almost all of your bike training indoors for the past 4 plus months and haven’t done a single open water swim yet, it would be wise to recognize this and make sure you don’t set your goals too lofty for your first race. Heading into the heat from a cold climate is great and should be very enjoyable, but you’re body hasn’t had much time for the adaptation to race at your best. As a result, be realistic with your expectations/pacing. Racing at slightly higher or at more challenging paces than your body can handle often leads to very disappointing races that can really kill morale. Even if your fitness level remains very close to the same for the year, you should be able to maintain higher effort levels later in the season. This may depend on training and your coaches philosophy/plan for you, but often going a touch easier as opposed to a touch harder will most likely lead you to a better result and significantly reduce the chance of blowing up.
Embrace the Hurt
This may seem a little contradictory to the last section of this entry, but the first race of the year is also a great opportunity to test your ability to find and embrace your pain cave! There is certainly a difference between going out too hard and being able to embrace the hurt, but successful athletes are able to embrace the pain and battle all the way to the finish line. Your motivation should be very high heading into your first race so use that motivation to find another gear. If you do so, this should lead to a great race for you early on, but also really help you get faster as the year goes on as your fitness and adaptation improve.
Have Fun and Appreciate WhatYou’re Doing!
As mentioned above, your motivation should be super high heading into your first race. Remember to think about how lucky you are to be healthy enough to be competing and appreciate that all your hard work is going to pay off. When the discomfort and fatigue starts to kick in during the race, remember this!!! Use it as motivation to dig deep and push your boundaries. We’re so lucky to be able to compete. We dedicate so much time and effort, while making tons of sacrifices. Remember all this when you’re out there on the course. Also don’t forget to thank those volunteers. You do all that, you should be extremely proud of yourself and happy with your results. With that, I wish the best of luck to everyone this season. Its going to be a great year! 🙂