The “Perfect Race”?

I would like to know if anyone that reads this blog believes in the perfectly executed race?  A race where every discipline and transition goes exactly as planned?  I guess that would require people to actually reads this blog too.  🙂

Take for instance, your best race (time wise) from this season.  Maybe you walked away with a PR and some hardware, maybe you felt the strongest you’ve ever felt running off your bike, maybe you had the fastest bike split of the day!  Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome!  However, in hindsight, did everything really go as planned?  Did you drop your gel coming out of T2 and have to pick it up?  Did you run into the wrong row in T1 or fumble around with your bike trying to get it off the rack?  Did you run out of T1 while steering your bike with both hands on your handlebars cause you “don’t know how” to steer your bike with only one hand on the seat?  All of these, and many many more, should be considered in your response to the perfect race.  Chances are, the answer is no!  Join the club.  🙂

Perfect and racing, in my opinion, don’t typically go together.  Let’s be honest, perfect and LIFE don’t all too often go together – there’s always hiccups.  I’d venture to say that even most seasoned racers, and probably the pros, would completely agree.  That’s how triathlon gets people hooked!

The sport is a constant challenge which drives us type A athletes to improve!  We train hard day in and day out for the physical aspect of triathlon – we swim meters upon meters, run endless miles and ride our bikes till our butt’s hurt – but what we all so often forget is the 4th discipline of triathlon…transition!  I’m guilty of it myself.  Who wants to spend 30 minutes of their precious time looking like a total geek with a mock transition area set up running in and out taking on and off your shoes??

Truth is, spending just 30 minutes practicing your transitions can make a huge impact on your race.  I have hosted a few transition clinics and they have always gotten very receptive feedback.  Taking the time to teach someone how to transition, seems silly.  Run out of the water, put your crap on, and go.  Hang up your bike, change your shoes, and go.  But when you start talking with less experienced triathletes, transition is typically the one of the most stressful concerns, second to the swim.  30 minutes of practice can make a world of difference, as I have seen with my very own eyes!

Transition aside, I still think it’s pretty tough to say a race was 100% perfectly executed, unless you’re like Chrissie Wellington or the likes.  However, I think we all owe it to ourselves to spend 30 minutes to potentially eliminate some of the most petty reasons that races don’t go 100% according to plan.   Let’s be honest, we’ve ALL had the man-if-only-I-went-30-sec-faster-in-T1-I-coulda-placed-4-places-better moments.

Here’s to more perfect races in your future!

T-1 day till Nationals!

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