Key Learning – Pre-race jitters are normal
Over the past week I have been experiencing the worst pre-race jitters. “I’m not going to be fit enough”, “my nutrition isn’t optimal”, “I’m not running fast enough”, are all examples of some of the thoughts I have been having, causing unnecessary panic and anxiety in the lead up to the actual event. I have been questioning everything, wanting to trial new things at the last minute based on what I have heard other people are doing in training or with their nutrition.
However, after one good final session cementing my race day approach I am back to feeling excited. The reality is there is no right approach, but if something has been working for you then why wouldn’t you just roll with it. The actual event is just an extended simulation of everything you have been doing in training. It is not going to be easy or enjoyable at times and things definitely might not go according to plan, however that is the nature of the event. An ironman isn’t meant to be easy.
I have also found that understanding and planning for things that could go wrong a great help with easing my ambiguity around the event. I have found the best way to find out and plan for the ‘unknowns’ is to talk to people who have experience with ironman events. For example, I now know to get new tires to avoid getting a puncture, if I unfortunately get cramp or stitch I am to ease off slightly and have something salty at hand, if I feel like vomiting then just vomit and ease back into taking on food and water, practice collecting drink bottles in my left hand like at the aid stations to ensure it is easy come race day and so on. They have also shared with me their experience of pre race jitters. I now know it is all quite normal, and that they do have a positive effect come race day - the best race day edge you can get!