All Trisutto athletes know of our saying, J A R which refers to: Just Another Race. As we head into another edition of the Hawaii Ironman World Championships, what does JAR really mean and how do we apply it to our race day mindset?
Whether you are a professional or an age group athlete, just because this is a World Championship, it doesn’t mean you should change your racing mindset.
Kona is marketed (successfully) as the Greatest Triathlon Show on Earth. As such we see pro and age group athletes prepared to make all kinds of sacrifices just to get there. This in itself leads to over-expectations. It leads one to set goals with numbers on a course where the numbers fluctuate wildly depending on the conditions of the day.
At Hawaii athletes are dealing with big variations in chop and current in the swim. Bike numbers mean nothing depending on the winds, how strong they are and which direction they are blowing. What athletes ‘think’ they should run is largely determined by the heat and humidity. All factors that change dramatically year on year.
Despite this, at the ‘Big Show’ we see people consistently setting their goals too high or taking less account of the conditions than the race deserves. In this context small hurdles become monster decisions as we feel our Kona performance slipping out of our grasp under the weight of our self-impossed expectations!
In any other race we tend to make the changes we need to make. At Hawaii though many ignore the signals that our bodies send out as ‘this is Kona baby, we busted our buns to get here and we’re going to leave it all out there on the lava fields’. Unfortunately, most do just that. Even those that I believe have reasonable races aren’t satisfied. ‘No coach. I wanted this. I wanted that.’
My advice to those there this year is to adapt to the day. Don’t fight it, work with it. Celebrate the experience, tone down the expectations and play the course! At Trisutto Kona is J A R – Just Another Race. If you can find a way to embrace Kona with this mindset, you’ll find your performance might indeed be enhanced.