Will Eastbourne triathlon be your first race? A first race is always a very exciting event, but can also cause some anxious thoughts and fears, especially when it comes to swimming in the open water!
As an amateur triathlete myself, I have prepared three easy tips for you that aim to make sure your first race is as enjoyable as possible.
Straight from the start, there will be many people rushing and overtaking you. With all the action going on around you, it can be very easy to get overly excited! This is when it is very important to race your own race – try to pace yourself and adhere to your race plan (even if your race plan is to simply finish with a smile on your face!). Trust me, you will not regret starting slow – you can always speed up later, once you have found your rhythm.
A lot of anxiety comes from the unknown – what if the current is too strong? What if I have a puncture? What if I am the last to finish? The best way to tackle these thoughts is to decide what you can and cannot control (you might even write a list). Then you can direct your energies towards those things that are within your control, while avoiding wasting energy on worrying about those that aren’t. For example, if you worry a lot about open water swimming, try to practice swimming in your wetsuit elsewhere – whether it is a nearby pond or a local lido. Also try to practice changing your tyre; this is one of the most common race fears, but also one of the easiest to control with a little practice.
When the going gets tough (and you start to really regret your life choices!), what will help you to get back to a positive mindset and cross that finish line with a big smile? Before the start, think about why you want to complete this race at all and write down a reminder to yourself as a short mantra on your wrist. You can look at this when you need to remember what really matters; use it to stabilise yourself and draw energy from. Waterproof sharpie is recommended!
If you would like to chat more about race prep, there is a special offer for participants of Eastbourne Triathlon:
Free 30-minute session with Dr Anastasiya Khomutova (sport psychologist in training) as a preparation for your race and 10% discount for any additional sessions!
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to book in.