Mock Triathlons

author : infosteward
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Practice makes perfect. That’s the mantra my mom repeated as I grew up. So as I grew up every new thing I learned wasn’t really new because my mom taught me to it practice first. The first time I sang in front of an audience, I practiced on my family. The first time I wrote a story for a newspaper, I’d practiced on the neighbors. The first time I gave a speech, I’d practice on my dolls. Nothing was new to me even though it was the first time.

So it stands to reason that when it came time for me to do a triathlon that I would practice. Of course I trained. But it wasn’t good enough for me to just run, bike and swim on my home turf. I quickly realized that if I were going to make this triathlon thing a little bit less nerve racking that I’d have to practice on the actual course that I’d be racing.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it. I mean we get up the gumption just to do the race ONCE, why in the heck would we want to do it twice, or even three times before the race? But experts agree, doing a “mock,” triathlon on the course you’re racing can aid you in your training; performance and most of all quell some nervous energy.

 

Boy Scouts Had It Right

  • Get a race map — The best way to be prepared for a race is to envision it in your mind. You can’t do that without a racecourse map. The time to print out this map is not the day before the race! Try to get the racecourse map as soon as possible — at least two weeks before the race. That way you’ll have plenty of time to do a mock triathlon and recover. Many races post maps online, some are in your pre-race packet, if you can’t find them in either of those places then try writing or e-mailing the race director and have them send you one.

 

  • Time your arrival — Once you get a race map, if the race isn’t in your backyard then drive out to the course and time how long it takes. Notice I said in your backyard not in your hometown. Even if the race is in your city you should still time how long it takes to get to the race site.

 

  • Scout your course — You can read about a racecourse but nothing compares to actually doing it. In my first tri the race description said the course had “rolling hills.” Yeah right. When I did my bike leg I wanted to rewrite the description to say BDH — “big darn hills.” The hills were pretty steep and the race description didn’t do them justice. It’s OK to take your car and drive the course and scout it out. See the lake or pool. Look at where the bike leg starts and ends. Drive down the run path. (Of course only use your car when you can. Don’t try driving the swim course!)

 

  • Get inside scoop – Try to find a friend or fellow triathlete who has done the race before or a volunteer from previous years, especially if the course has stayed the same. This proved invaluable for me on my first triathlon. A volunteer showed the me the course, described the transition area, gave me a tour of the area around the race course, showed me the best place to park and even where I could stay if I needed to over night. In return I bought her lunch and she showed up the day of the race to cheer for me. Not a bad way to get a fan! Better yet, become a volunteer yourself then you’ll have the inside scoop for next year.

 

  • Do the course — Yes, you should do it! Just do the triathlon. Don’t go all out but try out each leg of the race. You can do them all on one day or split them up. But the two most important legs to practice are the swim, especially if you’re in open water and the bike leg. When I did my mock triathlon it saved me so much grief. I was able to mark landmarks on the bike leg so I didn’t feel like I was just riding forever. I knew exactly where the turnaround was and how far away I was from it. It was beautiful. During the race I didn’t have worry once about how far I’d gone because I’d already knew. So I concentrated on speed and performance and forgot about distance.

 

  • Catch surprises not found on the mapThis experience may be unique but doing my mock triathlon was essential to me surviving the swim.  For the past 15 years Pueblo, Colorado, has done its “Ordinary Mortals Triathlon.” People rave about it. But if you’ve never done it before there’s one thing you need to know: The pool is scorching. It’s a rehabilitative pool so it’s kept at 91 degrees every day. I did my mock triathlon on the Wednesday before the race. It was the first time I had swam in such hot waters. But doing the triathlon before helped me mentally prepare for the race on Saturday. I zoomed through the swim without a care.

 

You may decide doing a mock triathlon isn’t for you. And that’s cool. But as for me, I’m going to take some motherly advice. Practice makes perfect.

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date: September 1, 2004

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infosteward

New biz venture for me check it out: writewaywriting.com
Literature - the big heavies - Wright, Shakespeare, Zora, etc.
Love movies, singing (Karaoke), traveling, swimming, dancing and playing all kinds of card games. Love good food, better wine and even better entertainment.
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Author

avatarinfosteward

New biz venture for me check it out: writewaywriting.com
Literature - the big heavies - Wright, Shakespeare, Zora, etc.
Love movies, singing (Karaoke), traveling, swimming, dancing and playing all kinds of card games. Love good food, better wine and even better entertainment.
Help children in poverty. Sponsor a child today.
www.compassion.com

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