Part of the thrill of this sport is the anticipation of the unknown. You can’t control everything on race day. A lot of athletes have a habit of worrying about the weather and the competitor lined up next to them that they inhibit their own performance. You can’t control Mother Nature. You can’t control who shows up on race day. It all comes down to preparedness and controlling the controllable. Focus on these instead:
Race fueling is something that should be practiced all season long. It’s something that shouldn’t just be thrown together randomly. You should have everything planned down to the milligrams of sodium. If there’s any question as to what you should be consuming, Coach Amanda and Steve can help you determine the proper breakdown of nutrients for every race. As you click off mile after mile don’t think about the person behind you, instead focus on your fueling plan and make sure you stick to it every aid station.
There’s a handful of things you can’t control, flat tires, goggles getting kicked off, etc. But there are a series of things you can do to limit the likeness of those issues. Before I leave for the race I make sure my bike has been tuned and I’ve checked and rechecked my packing list (I’m a Type-A, it’s a pretty extensive checklist). When you get to the race, do a solid inspection of your bike. Lay out your equipment and arrange it according to when you’re going to use it in transition. Look at the event schedule and make sure you know what needs to be where are when.
If you believe you can, you’re right. If you believe you can’t, you’re also right. You are in control of your attitude and it will have a direct effect on your performance. Over my 15+ years of competition and coaching, I’ve never seen someone put together an excellent performance without the right mentality from start to finish. Even if the race isn’t going your way, smile. Remind yourself you can. Give a volunteer a high-five. Ultimately, you’re in charge of your performance. So, stop worrying about what athlete is there, the type of training they did, Mother Nature or the course. The only things that matter are the things that you can control.