How to Mentally Prepare for a Big Race

The last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to mentally prepare for a big race! That big race for me being 70.3 Ironman World Championships! In almost every race I do, I either have a time goal, or a placement goal….or both! Typically, in the few weeks leading up to the race, I think alot about the race and how I’m going to get the time that I am aiming for.

This race is a little different for me because first of all, it’s a bigger race than I’ve ever done! I’m literally competing with the best triathletes in the world! Usually I aim for top 5-10 in my age group in a 70.3 Ironman race. However, with this race, every girl in my age group is typically in the top 5! Competition is going to be crazy tight, and it’ll be interesting how I do! Because of this, I really can’t aim for a specific placing goal in this race.

Another reason this race is different for me is because the course is super hard! The elevation profile for the bike is really hilly.

The course has about 4,800 feet of elevation gain which is about the same as IM Lake Placid (one of the hardest IMs)!

The course has about 4,800 feet of elevation gain which is about the same as IM Lake Placid (one of the hardest IMs)!

I also know that the run is pretty hilly as well. The run I’m not worried about, because I actually handle hills pretty well when running. The biking concerns me though–I hate hills on the bike, and they slow me down bike time. Because of this, I’m not aiming for a specific time goal in the race either!

So how am I mentally preparing for this race since I can’t think about a time or a placement goal? Well, my goal for this race will be to just race it “well”. I’m hoping to execute the swim, bike, and run all according to plan. I’m hoping to make it through the whole race without crashing from improper fuels, and I’m hoping to be able to put forth a really good effort for each of the swim, bike, and run. Basically I’m going into this race with no expectations about my “objective” performance. I just want to have fun doing the race, enjoy this amazing opportunity, and feel good when I’m done!

How do you mentally prepare for a big race?

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