Ironman Arizona is Sunday. I can only imagine what the competitors are feeling, especially the first-timers. After training, training and more training, it’s easy to let last-minute nerves take over. But help is here! Kara Anderson, seasoned triathlete and owner of Triple Sports in Scottsdale, offers these last-minute pointers:
An Ironman is no joke. 140.6 miles is a long way to propel your body. And no matter how fit you are, no matter how meticulously you executed your training plan, odds are good that you’re still filled with raw nerves and no small amount of anxiety.
So you’re finding new ways to worry. Are your tires inflated right? Is your wetsuit flexible enough? What if your goggles fog? How do you swim, again?
As my husband said to my worried self the night before our first Ironman: “It’s good to be nervous; it shows you that you’re doing something challenging and new.”
Sure. But when you’re feeling that sense of impending terror, that can be small consolation.
Some things that will help: Visualization. Are you freaking out about the swim start? Worried about dealing with a flat? Visualize how you will handle the situation. See yourself negotiating the swim, think about how you will deal with an aggressive swimmer or cold temperatures. Remember: You’ve trained for this. You know what to do, and you’ll do it right. And if you don’t, well, that just makes for a good post-race story.
The day before a big race can be tricky. You have a lot of pent-up energy and nothing to do with it. Try not to use that energy to over-think and tinker. You will want to, trust me, but just don’t do it. Stick to your plan. Trust yourself. The hard part is over. Now all you gotta do is race.