Coach Al here with a race day pep talk! I am always very confident about my athlete’s preparation going into races. They toe the line ready to have a great day.
I always like to leave them with some important thoughts that I know, if they apply them, will help them on race day. These are skills we work on every day in training. I hope these words of advice will help you to have the best race you’re capable of and that you’ll enjoy it more as well!
1. STAY IN THE MOMENT, BE TASK ORIENTED, AND EXECUTE. A great race only happens if you keep your emotions in check AND remain present where you ARE at any moment in time from the minute you wake to the second you cross the line. Being task oriented keeps your mind focused, not allowing it to move ahead to something in the future, or spiral backwards to something which is past. BE IN THE MOMENT. Execution means doing the things you need to, when you need to, to ensure the best chance for success.
2. EXPECT DIFFICULTIES TO COME AND BE READY TO DEAL WITH THEM IN A POSITIVE WAY. In a race like Ironman or in any race that you will feel challenged to complete, it isn’t a question of IF things will go wrong or become difficult, it is only a matter of when. That is racing! So, expect it, and decide ahead of time how YOU are going to deal with those difficulties. Decide in advance that your response is going to be POSITIVE. Every single challenge can be framed as having a positive element, if you decide it is so, and allow yourself to see it that way.
3. BE MENTALLY STRONG AND PHYSICALLY STRONG when it matters most. Every athlete out there on the race course is “tough” during the early and middle stages. Few, however, are truly mentally strong and resilient when it gets really difficult in the late stages of the competition. Decide you’re going to dig deep and have NO REGRETS. Be strong.
4. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS– act accordingly. You are in complete control of what you do, how you think, and how you react to what happens out there. Make a choice to respond positively, to THINK positively, and to believe in yourself. Have that powerful tool at the ready when it gets most difficult or challenging.
Be great and enjoy every moment of elation, suffering, and boredom. Walk away with pure joy!
My best to all of you!