Preparing for the mental and physical intensity of a triathlon is no easy feat. And while training and discipline are crucial during the months leading up to a race, there are a few things that even the most well-trained athlete can overlook. To help keep you calm and focused at your next big event, here are two major hacks to remove nervous anxiety and improve your success during a triathlon.
Pack Extra Equipment
One of the most unnerving things that can happen to a triathlete is to show up at a race and find that you’ve forgotten an essential piece of equipment. While it’s rare that you’ll forget most things, a missing pair of goggles or shoelaces can throw your mind instantly out of focus.
Most experienced triathletes will pack one of everything, but it’s important to consider that something could break or malfunction during an event. If you happened to watch the 2016 Olympic games, you might have witnessed the famous swimmer Michael Phelps scrambling to the starting blocks with a ripped swim cap in his hands. Thankfully a fellow teammate gave him a spare, and he was able to compete in the race.
Instead of stressing out and melting down when a piece of equipment goes missing or is damaged, add a duplicate to each item in your pre-race equipment checklist. Pack a second pair of anything essential that could break or malfunction such as goggles, shoes, or shoelaces. You’ll have a better peace of mind on the day of a race and will be glad you packed extra equipment if something does go wrong.
Feed Your Nerves
Race-day jitters can be triggered by numerous things beyond your control, such as weather or long delays, which can cause mental stress and nausea that can severely affect your performance. And while feeling “keyed up” for a big race is a normal sensation, being overly nervous to the point of anxiousness is not going to help you during a race. To ease up this unexpected tension before the starting gun is fired, it’s important to feed your body the right kind of fuel on race day.
The most important meal to eat before a triathlon is breakfast. Include bananas, blueberries, or avocados into a smoothie or another breakfast dish, as they contain large amounts of mind-calming nutrients. Healthy sources of fat help your body to absorb necessary vitamins, so be sure to add that to your breakfast as well. When you feed your nervous system properly ahead of time, you are less likely to experience severe nerves on your race day.