This time next week, I’ll be doing my first swim-bike-run event of the season, the South Beach Triathlon—yaya! As expected, my emotions have been all over the place: excited, nervous, anxious, pumped, you name it. Luckily, I did SoBe last year and know these feelings are normal, especially since it’s my first race this year.
I’m a type-A person, so it’s easy for me to stress about everything pertaining to race—weather, heat index, course conditions, etc.—mainly factors I cannot control. My high school basketball coach used to tell my team to “control the controllables.” By focusing on what can be controlled, you give yourself an opportunity to succeed. With that being said, I made a list of race objectives, aka things I can control come Sunday.
Yes, my coach gave me specific time goals for each discipline. Like usual, they seem aggressive, but he knows my abilities and how my training has progressed. Obviously, I would love to hit these times, but overall, I want to smash my times from last year. To me, that would be a successful race.
Be smart and strategic during the swim.
In semi-surprising news to this #wannabeswimmer, the swim will be one of my strengths this year. Honestly, I feel like it’s at a good spot now, so I should be able to capitalize during the 0.5-mile open water swim. This means doing the little things right: drafting, sighting, and knowing when to push and when to settle in. Ideally, I’d like to exit the water in the lead pack feeling strong.
Be calm and confident/smooth and strong on the bike.
Yes, I’ve been outside only twice on my Slice, but my comfort and confidence have grown exponentially during each outing. Especially during the second ride, I felt much more natural, strong, and dialed in. And knock on wood, the bike could potential be a strength this year too—I know, right?—but that doesn’t mean much if I can’t piece together a solid run. Anyway, I plan to be smart and strategic in the saddle; this means hammering when appropriate and spinning when necessary.
Be consistent and mentally strong during the run—no slips.
Bottom line, the run is going to be what it will be. In theory, four miles shouldn’t be a big deal, but four miles in 80-degree heat and humidity changes the game. Last year, these conditions took their toll at mile 2.5, and I suffered through the longest and hardest four miles of my life. At least I know what to expect this time around, right? To avoid hitting the wall again, I need to be smarter coming off the bike, dialing into my pace, and keeping my heart rate in check.
My training is still a work in progress—I’m not trying to peak in April—but I’m pumped to put it all together! Plus, I can’t wait to hang out with my teammates; this race served as a major turning point in terms of team dynamics and friendships last year, and we have so much fun together.
Watch out, South Beach—Full Throttle Endurance is coming for you!