IRONMAN 70.3 Race Week: Helpful Pre-race jitters, or Debilitating anxiety?

From Training Peaks

Avoiding Mental Sabotage Part 4: How to Channel Pre-Race Anxiety

BY PATRICK J. COHN, PH.D. AND ANDRE BEKKER
In part four of our continuing series on mastering your mental skills for race-day, we discuss how to properly channel your pre-race anxiety into positive energy and focus.

How to Cope with Pre-Race Jitters
Every triathlete, runner or cyclist, no matter their level, experiences pre-race jitters—the feeling of excitement or butterflies in your stomach prior to the start of a race. However, some athletes turn pre-race jitters into performance anxiety. Pre-race jitters are a natural part of your racing, but pre-race performance anxiety will cause most athletes to tense up, worry about their performance and ultimately not perform up to their ability.

Are Pre-Race Jitters Helpful to Your Performance?
The first step is to find out if you experience common pre-race jitters or if you are anxious or scared. The difference is that pre-race jitters or butterflies are helpful to your race—they help you focus and perform better.

However, real “performance anxiety” is a reaction to stress or fear about the event that can cause excess tension. We think that pre-race jitters are a form of respect for the event you are about to engage in and part of the physical way your body prepares for the race.

How can you distinguish between pre-race jitters and performance anxiety? Look at the characteristic of each below:

Pre-game Jitters
You feel excited to get the race started.
You feel physically up and alert.
You think clearly about what you want to accomplish.
You feel ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
You feel your heart beating harder, but you think it’s natural and helpful.
When the race starts, you relax, get into the flow, and don’t focus on how you are feeling.
You have energy to keep going until the end of the race.
Performance Anxiety
You are over-excited about the race and feel scared before you start.
You feel physically sick to your stomach.
You have excess internal chatter and can’t think clearly or calmly.
You are worried about what you might encounter during the race.
You feel physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, but worry that you are anxious or uptight.
You feel anxious or tight well into the start of the race and it may last for the entire event.
You feel drained and exhausted before the competition even starts.
If you identify with pre-race jitters, that’s great. That’s what you want to feel just before the event. You want to embrace the pre-race jitters.

If you identify more with performance anxiety above, you’ll have to learn how to overcome your performance anxiety by channeling it in a more constructive way…

Read the full story

It’s Ironman 70.3 Race Week! Race Week Do’s and Don’ts

Photo courtesy of 303Triathlon – Boulder Reservoir, IRONMAN Boulder 2017

From IRONMAN
by Matt Lieto

The week leading up to a major race, what we call “race week” in the sport, can bring its own breed of stress and anxiety. These emotions can pile up and wreak havoc on an athlete’s race experience and even results. So what’s a high-strung athlete to do? The best chance for success on race week is to do your best to make it as much like any other week in training.

IRONMAN champ Linsey Corbin sums up race week success with this: “Get a lot of sleep early in the week, dial in your race gear early, thank a volunteer, stay hydrated, don’t stress about the weather, do something nice, keep the blood flowing, and have fun.” Below you’ll find a few more handy points to help keep the cortisol levels down.

IRONMAN Race Week Do’s & Don’ts….

Click HERE to read about bike tune ups, new gear, pre-race diet, too little – and too much – rest, massages, course recon, and managing your support crew.

Tri Hearter: Reflections on IRONMAN Boulder’s Epic Nature

Warren Mine

By Bill Plock

About 20 minutes after the last person crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Boulder, it hit me. That feeling of wow, what a great day. The next day at the awards ceremony it bowled me over just what had happened. The epic nature and vibe of an IRONMAN comes down to thousands of moments, some inspiring, others mesmerizing and many simply beautiful that causes the ultimate appreciation and respect for the race and the athletes. At some point it just becomes overwhelming if you let it–in a good way.

I was walking with 73 year old Warren Mine of California (the oldest to complete IM Boulder in 2017) to help him retrieve his bike talking about his race (his 20th+ IRONMAN) when champion Tim O’Donnell walked by on his way to get his bike. I kind of shook my head in disbelief and reflected. What a crazy sport I thought. Here is one of the top athletes in the world, having just won the race, simply going to pick up his bike, limping a bit and commenting how his legs hurt–like everyone else’s. When LeBron finishes a game I’m guessing he doesn’t even pick up his basketball shoes. The mingling of pro’s and amateurs all aiming for the same goal, with the same vulnerabilities, the same dedication and similar dreams and hopes sets triathlon apart. It endears all of us triathletes. It builds bonds and communities and lasts a lifetime.

To spectate IRONMAN Boulder for the first time convinced me more than ever that through this endeavor lives are changed. Relationships begin, are cemented, and are celebrated by a common event experienced uniquely for everyone. I parked myself for over two hours photographing hundreds of Colorado athletes as they entered the run course from T2. The relief and smiles to be on the run leg permeated most, and their hopeful gaze for a good run was greeted by hundreds of cheering people lining Boulder Creek. Hours passed. I walked miles, taking more pictures, cheering and remembering my runs on this creek for the past three IRONMAN Boulders. All I could think about was the love and support I always felt and that was the only thing I missed about not racing. It’s addictive and appreciated. I thought how lucky all these people were to experience it–especially first timers. They will never forget it.

Champion Tim O’Donnell awards finisher medals during the magical midnight hour

Later that night, during the last hour of the race, I simply sat a few feet from finishers who were greeted by Tim O’Donnell and his wife and three time IRONMAN World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae. The unofficial triathlon king and queen of Boulder graciously medaled each of the final age groupers. Most gazed in disbelief or were too dazed and confused to grasp the significance–but once they understood who was putting their arms around them, the smiles beamed.

To witness the tears, the joy, the pain, the end, and really the beginning of a new journey for so many sticks in my mind. Tears came to my eyes many times.

But no race is complete without recognizing those who win and rise above. Those who persevere the most, overcome amazing challenges and earn one of the toughest and most coveted entries in all of sport–a chance to compete in Kona. A spot reserved for the top 2%. The dreams of the athletes, their families and coaches hang in the balance of getting a spot.

It’s not as clear cut as you might think. Going into the awards all that is known is that 40 spots are awarded. They are then divided among all age groups proportional to how many people raced in the age group.

Some age groups have one entry, others as many as three of four. But not every athlete chooses to go or some have an entry from

EK Endurance Sports, Vixxen Racing & BTC Elite Coach Eric Kenney

an earlier race so their spot rolls down. Each time an athlete’s name is called and there is no response, some athlete hoping and waiting erupts in emotion–some show it more than others and it is wonderful to witness (you must be present to claim a spot). The tension can be thick.

Coach Eric Kenney and his athlete Liz West

In the female 30 to 34 age group, local athlete, Team Vixxen Racing member, Elizabeth West, was third in her age group with two spots up for grabs. She is coached by Eric Kenney of EK Endurance. I knew how anxious Eric was, hoping to see her dream come true. If you know Eric, you know he wears his heart on his sleeve.

As Mike Reilly began to announce that age group I was nervous. My personal connection and empathy for Liz and knowing how close she has been in past years and remembering how I felt missing a spot by one place two years ago, put a lump in my throat in anticipation. Mike called the first name. Silence. He called it again. More silence.

Tears swelled in my eyes and I gazed not at Liz, but at Eric a few feet away, standing alone to the side. He crumpled to a knee and couldn’t fight the tears. That moment will last a lifetime. Liz hugged many and tears came to her as well and her mom sat crying; it was simply beautiful.

Ironman Boulder is over, dreams are cast and inspiring stories will be told for a long long time.

Teen from Baltimore with cerebral palsy finishes Ironman Boulder, pushed and pulled by “wingman” David Slomkowski

From the Denver Post

Assisted by “wingman” David Slomkowski, James Banks receives his medal at the finish of the Ironman Boulder Sunday night. Banks, 18, has cerebral palsy. Slomkowski pulled and pushed Banks for more than 140 miles.

Banks “a hero for the rest of his life,” Slomkowski says.

BOULDER — As a steady stream of exhausted athletes crossed the finish line of the Ironman Boulder, the volume of cheers rose Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to welcome James Banks and David Slomkowski to the end of their long ordeal.

The duo from Baltimore had begun 15 hours and 45 minutes earlier. Banks, whom Slomkowski pulled and pushed for more than 140 miles, smiled broadly after a finish-area volunteer hung the Ironman medal from his neck. Banks, 18, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis.

“Booyah!” a group of friends shouted, knowing that is Banks’ favorite word for expressing happiness.

Read the full article

303Radio Interviews IRONMAN Boulder top pro finishers O’Donnell, Chrabot, Joyce, Jackson

IRONMAN Boulder 2017 Pro Champions Rachel Joyce and Tim O’Donnell

Rich Soares of Mile High Endurance now commands 303Radio, and he hit the finish chute to interview Sunday’s top pro champions – take a listen to the fresh-off-the-course thoughts!

IRONMAN Boulder pro results; two top-10 men DQ’d

Two top male pros missed the run turnaround today, causing devastating disqualifications.

Justin Daerr told 303Triathlon, “Thank you for the support and the kind words.”

An excerpt from the recap he shared with his followers:

During the race, I came within 30-50 meters of the actual turnaround, but I misunderstood the way the run course had been marked, as did the biker accompanying me. The actual turnaround was just above a rise on the path so I could not see it as I turned around prematurely. I’ve since learned that another pro made the same mistake. (Read the full entry)

Top five professional men’s results:

                                                      SWIM            BIKE             RUN              FINISH

  1. Tim O’Donnell                  USA        00:49:20 04:24:25         02:53:55         08:13:30
  2. Matt Chrabot                    USA        00:50:25 04:30:33         03:07:42         08:34:36
  3. Patrick McKeon                USA        00:57:08 04:35:15         03:03:40         08:42:24
  4. Jarrod Shoemaker            HUN        00:50:18 04:50:25         02:59:21         08:45:38
  5. Jozsef Major                       USA        01:03:20 04:31:10         03:10:57         08:51:35

 

Top five professional women’s results:

                                                                  SWIM            BIKE             RUN              FINISH

  1. Rachel Joyce                   GBR        00:54:59 04:56:09         03:16:01         09:13:32
  2. Heather Jackson               USA        00:59:51 04:49:06         03:26:09         09:20:42
  3. Danielle Mack                   USA        01:04:46 05:11:02         03:20:24         09:42:16
  4. Kelly Williamson               USA        00:54:56 05:26:15         03:16:35         09:44:08
  5. Uli Bromme                      USA        01:04:49 05:05:30         03:34:45         09:52:32

303Radio Interviews with IRONMAN Boulder Staff & Officials

Rich Soares of Mile High Endurance interviews IRONMAN Boulder Staff & Officials- Featuring Dave Christen & Mike Reilly-

Enjoy your listen!

303Radio Interviews with IRONMAN Boulder Fans

Rich Soares of Mile High Endurance joins the 303 Team, taking over 303Radio on 303Triathlon with a burst of interviews from IRONMAN Boulder…

Here, a few installments from the “Fans & Spectators” Category-

Enjoy your listen!

IRONMAN Boulder interviews pro athletes; predictions for tomorrow’s race, PLUS tips & tricks

Local Boulder Pro Triathletes are happy to be racing in their “back yard,” offer tips for predicted heat… “I live right on the course…” “I know every inch of the road…” “Here, I’ve done intervals up Nelson, practiced going down St. Vrain…”

PLUS, IRONMAN asked athletes for their best “tips & tricks” for tomorrow’s race: