Regrettably, I am unable to attend the Madison Sprint Triathlon this year due to the wedding of a good friend. All your physical fitness training is done, but I wanted to offer up three things that helped me win last year and three things you can use to get the most out of yourself.
1.) In the Water, Check the Currents
After you warm up in the water (you better warm up in the water!!!) stop for a second. Watch something stable on land and notice if you feel yourself drifting one way or the other. Visualize the race quickly and take note of where you think you might be affected by that current. Then, take the current into account when you are swimming during the race. You may need to aim slightly left or slightly right of a buoy so that you swim a straight line. Last year, a competitor in front of me didn’t notice the current (and didn’t sight enough). He ended up swimming wide of the second buoy. I noticed and quickly took advantage of the situation by correcting my direction. I ended up swimming straight while he swam a lot longer course. I came out of the water ahead of him. It pays off to pay attention!
|Happy to be first out of the water|
2.) On the Bike, Stay Low on the Downhills
Body position is a huge factor when it comes to drag. If your body is upright while you are on a downhill, you will ride a lot slower than if you were in a more aggressive position (even if you are just one inch lower by bending your elbows). After you turn left on Opening Hill Rd, most of the course is down hill to the finish. If you aren’t peddling, stay as low as you can, but only to the point where you can still ride safely. This will help you maximize your speed.
|Descend like this guy!|
|Or this guy!|
|But not like this guy! He doesn't even have his shoes on!|
3.) On the Run, Set Reminders to Go Fast
Any time I race, I always make a mental map of the run course in my head. I visualize mile markers or landmarks where I think I can squeeze out a little extra speed and still finish strong at the end. I connect those spots with a thought like “go harder” or “you are fast” or “you are strong” and plan to say them to myself during the race. Prior to the race last year, I planned to say to myself "you are fast" and push the pace by 10-15 seconds per mile as I came out of the turnaround area. When I hit that spot in the actual race, my thoughts were more like 'oh this is tough' rather than 'i can go faster.' Having a planed spot to say "you are fast" helped me redirect my thoughts and helped me commit to the faster speed. Low and behold, I surprised myself and was able to hold that faster pace all the way to the end. You have more speed than you think, you might just have to remind yourself to push harder.
Finishing for the win!
Lastly, make sure you have your gear in order. You can always pick up some last minute gu, water bottles, hydration systems, etc. at Zane’s Cycles if you need to before the race. Good luck and have fun!
Looking for a coach for your 2017 season? Don’t hesitate to reach out! My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.