Tips for athletes: Preparing for a triathlon

Tips for athletes: Preparing for a triathlon

Nov 14, 2011

Triathlon Xel-Há 2011.

What can we control in a competition

Athletes, who get the results that have been set as a goal for their competitions are those that have the ability to focus on areas where they have poor performance and do not care much for those out of reach.


Number of competitors or quality of the competitors.
Faults in equipment (flats, mechanical failure).
Conditions for swimming such as currents, temperature, and accuracy to the extent.
Conditions for the bicycle such as wind, temperature, potholes, other cyclists, vehicles.
Race conditions such as temperature, degree of difficulty of the route, other runners.
Supply stations (location, volunteers).

While it certainly is our duty as competitors to find out as much as possible about these factors just mentioned, the most important thing is to focus our attention on the factors we can control as:

Equipment (which is appropriate and is in good condition)
Technical (shape, cadence, economy)
Preparation (competitive strategy, prior knowledge of the route, training)
Rhythm of competition.

The controllable factors are those that lead us to have a successful competition and are the cornerstone to achieve our personal goals. Uncontrollable factors are those that are the same for all competitors and have a direct impact on us.

Prepared to compete

During the training

  • Write a list of what are the reasons why you do the triathlon.
  • Write a list of your priorities in life
  • Write a list of your goals of competition
  • Make sure the lists you just wrote are all in harmony.
  • Make sure your partner / family / job / friends support your goals.

Preparation for competition

  • To do list – two columns (pending & solution)
  • Find the solution through experienced athletes in this type of skills or from your coach.
  • Find the solution in time.
  • Write the questions.
  • Use visualization techniques to reduce stress and increase the likelihood of achieving objectives.

Competition strategy

  • Create a competitive strategy that takes into account the pace at which you compete, hydration, nutrition, a list of equipment you will need, transitions and solution of possible contingencies.
  • During the week of competition, check every day the competition strategy.
  • The strategy competition should include as much detail as possible.
  • The pace of competition should be based on the perception of effort, not in time. External factors can affect the goals of time, but the effort objectives are independent and 100% controllable by you.

Week of competition

  • Stay in perspective
  • Avoid a last mega training
  • Relax and get ready MENTALLY
  • Make sure you have 15 to 30 min., a day of quiet time
  • Remember that changes in sleep patterns are normal this week.

During the competition

  • Focus on the present, what you are doing at the time.
  • Leave already what’s passed in the past.
  • Divide the jurisdiction into smaller parts.
  • Move forward all the time (in all senses)
  • Learn how to manage emotional cycles
  • If you realize that you are hesitating on your achievement, it is time to focus even more and send positive thoughts.
  • CONTROL what is controllable, stop worrying on the uncontrollable.

The Power to Believe

Ultimately, you have confidence in your training; experience and competitive strategy are the factors that will determine your mental strength on the day of the race. Triathlons have many questions and obstacles to overcome. However I am convinced it will be a great experience for everyone and together we will finally fulfill this dream.

Pre Checklist Competition and Competition Day

Pre Competition

  • Take your bike to a mechanical service.
  • Make sure you buy everything you need for the day of competition.
  • Take care of any last minute emergency.
  • Pack your items that you will have in the transition.


Day of the Competition

  • Get up three to four hours before the start time.
  • Have breakfast and begin with mental preparation.
  • Re-check the articles are going to have in the transition.
  • Get to the starting place at least 90 minutes early.
  • Check that everything is in order with your bike and your team.
  • Find a quiet and secluded place to put in order your thoughts and emotions before starting.
  • Smile and enjoy, it’s your big day.
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