A good friend of mine (His name is Ted) opened my eyes to this nonsense. Ted is a badass when it comes to endurance sports, and is actually the one guy that got interested in this little adventure many years ago. Anyways, I bug Ted a lot with my questions and my training plans, and Ted ALWAYS gives me an honest frank, blunt answer. We recently had one of those conversations.
Ted quickly tells me to shut up and stop over analyzing it. Stop over training and remember that I am not making my living as a pro triathlete and I should stop obsessing about it. Remember to keep it fun and that I could go out and finish it right now, which should be my goal; Just finish it!
The way he breaks down a race for me is simple. Go have a 90 minute swim, keep my HR at a certain level on the bike and be prepared for a run walk marathon. I tried to tell him I think I can do better than a 90 minute swim, more like 80 minutes and his reply was simply Why? Why limit myself that way? And I get what he is saying. I have to manage my race. I am not looking to set records on my first Ironman attempt. I simply want to finish it and have fun.
Let's say I do set a goal for myself of an 80 minute swim, 1 hour 20 minutes for 2.4 miles. What happens if I miss that goal? Then I am mentally looking at missing a mark already. Do I try and make it up on the bike? You bet I do, cause I know myself! Then my run is shot cause I went to hard on the bike. A 90 minute swim is respectful! And I know I can do better, but let's say I do come out of the water in 80 minutes, then I am feeling good and I know I am having a good race.
So Thank you Ted for always shooting it straight with me and calming me down. I am so looking forward to doing this and calling you afterwards and simply saying, "I did it Brother!"
This triathlon thing is all mental I am finding out. From the workouts to the race, you have to make sure you are mentally ready, and let's be honest, the only goal I need to focus on is 16:59:59!
Or maybe 16:37:09, Yeah that's a good goal!