Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When you don't have your dream race....

If you have ever completed a triathlon before, you can probably sense the anticipation the swimmers are feeling in the picture above.  Triathletes have a strong Type A personality, and typically set pretty high expectations for themselves.  What happens when those expectations are not met?  Read on for some tips (that apply to any sport) to pick yourself up and get on with it.

1)  Go over what went wrong.  Was it a technical issue?  Lack of training? Problem with nutrition? Pinpoint exactly what went wrong and figure out how to fix it.  If you are not sure what went wrong, this is where a professional can help out.  Talk to a coach to see how you can be better prepared for your next race.

2) Have a backup plan.  Every year I meet athletes who tell me they are training for the Chicago Triathlon. I ask them if they plan to do any other tris over the summer and they usually answer no.  This is when I try to convince them to register for another race earlier in the season to work the kinks out.  Putting all your eggs in one basket can be a big mistake, especially with outdoor sports.  Lots of things can go wrong- weather, illnesses, flat tires, etc.  It is good to have more than a one-race season.

3)  Put it into perspective.   As hard as it is to focus on the positive after a terrible race, we should all be thankful that we are alive and healthy and out running/swimming/biking or whatever sport we like to do. Even if you didn't take that medal or get your goal time,  try to remember why you love competing and just enjoy being fit!

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