Laying It Out
"Fear is probably the thing that limits performance more than anything - the fear of not doing well, of what people will say. You've got to acknowledge those fears, then release them."
In the past I have often kept my race plan to myself. Why? I think the short answer is fear. After all, if I make it public what my goals are, then people can judge whether or not I fail or succeed (whatever that really means). The other day I told my sister what my goals for Ironman Australia are and she automatically assumed I would be aiming for 30 minutes faster than I stated. She was surprised when I told her that I would be really happy with what I had originally stated.
Triathletes are a strange bunch of people. As a generalisation we pride ourselves on doing things that many people think are crazy. It feels good when you tell someone how far you rode today and they say they don't like driving that far. Yet ask a triathlete how they will do in their next race and 9 times out of 10 you will get an answer along the lines of not very well because (insert following excuse here):
- I'm coming off an injury (translation: I've been injury free all season)
- I'm training through this race (translation: I've peaked and tapered for this one)
- I haven't been training much (translation: I've trained more than ever)
- My training has been terrible recently (translation: Training has been the best ever)
- I'm just going to cruise this one (translation: Look out, I'm going flat out)
- I don't care about time (translation: anything less than Swim 0:55, Bike 5:20, Run 3:15 and I won't be happy)
If pre race talk was to be believed, then hardly anyone would be ready for the upcoming race. Of course that isn't true. I have definitely used some of the above excuses, but now I refuse to go down that road. Also, I plan on not going down the other road and talk myself up excessively. No trash talking to hide behind either. This year I plan to lay it all out leading into the race.
After sharing my training, the good, the bad and everything in between, it is only fair to lay out my true goals and plans for the final test. I'll take some inspiration from the big names in the sport to help me explain and make concrete what will define success come race day. Some people may be surprised, some may not agree and yet some will find it all makes sense. We all take something different away from the sport. The taper is a good time to reflect and remember exactly why I am doing this.