by Dave Latourette
As we start to hit the meat of triathlon season many athletes are fast approaching their key events. In the months and weeks leading into those events we plan to execute training based on expectations of how we would like to race on the “big day.”
I believe it’s healthy to have expectations as they drive motivation and allow us to stay on task in our training. Though expectations are positive, they can be a bit of a moving target at times. When life (injury, work obligations, travel) alters how we are able to prepare, it would be wise if we consider adjusting our expectations. When we get to a point where our training is in the bank and we start building energy and emotion for race day, it’s a great time to establish race day expectations.
The key here is making sure your expectations meet reality. That means your expectations must be honest and based off the training and races you have done in your lead up. Expectations should not be based on how things were six months ago or how good (or bad) you were 10 years ago. More than 15 years ago, Mark Allen said one of the biggest reasons he couldn’t break through to win the Ironman World Championship was because “expectation did not meet reality” …those words sit deep and permanent in my memory.
If your expectations are set in place with honesty, you have a solid race and nutrition plan, and you feel confident you can adapt to the inconsistencies race day throws at you then it’s time to release those expectations. Yes, release the expectations and simply “execute.” Execute your race day based on everything you know and everything you have done in preparation. Six weeks ago I had an athlete have a great day and he told me, “Releasing expectations can be good.” Yes, releasing expectations is good, it is powerful and it is calming.
Dave Latourette is a full time triathlon coach living in Santa Rosa, California, who works with athletes from newcomer to elite. His top athletes have won USAT Age Group National Championships and raced in World Championship events that include the ITU World Championship and the Ironman World Championship. You can learn more about Dave and follow him at: TrainToEndure.com, his blog, or on twitter @dklatourette