Your First Professional Race- Lessons For Everyone
A DAY TO REMEMBER
Everyone remembers ‘firsts’. After I won my 30th 703 race, I sat down with AP Racing Crew Member, Ben Deal, to talk about my first professional 703 race, Ironman703 Oceanside, as he gets ready for his first pro race at Ironman 703. St. George.
Ben is part of a new program we have at AP Racing, called, The Crew. The Crew was put together to give new pro’s and elite age groupers resources and support that are otherwise not available to help them during the start of their career. For AP Racing, we realized that we were serving the larger triathlon audience and helping the sport grow, and I wanted to create another platform to pass on what I have learned along the way for elite athletes as well.
So, here are are a few lessons I tried to pass on to Ben that every athlete taking on a new challenge can take with them-
Energy levels are high and you are ready to prove yourself. Use that energy to your advantage. You want to finish with a smile, not a ‘fade’. In a 70.3, you really want to be patient and always feel like you are ‘waiting to turn the switch’. If you are on the edge too early, you are flirting with danger. Keep yourself ‘in the race’, but do not do it at the detriment of racing outside of how you prepared for race day. Race day feels magical, and it can be, but it is really hard to do things way outside of how you have trained for months. Be who you are, Be Patient, and let it out when you need it most.
Something will go wrong. I promise you, it will happen. I still have things go wrong almost every race I do. Last week at Challenge Cancun, I had my entire rear hydration break off and was dangling with a zip tie. I ripped it off, stuck bottles in the front of my jersey and held the hydration system until the next aid station to toss it. Just roll with it and stay in the moment.
BE AN ATHLETE:
You are racing, you are ready, and you are capable. Let your abilities and strengths play out. You are on the start line for a reason, now just be you.
“RACING IS A MATTER OF SPIRIT, NOT STRENGTH”
No matter what direction your race takes, the day is only lost if you lose the lesson. If you have the best day ever, let that teach you what worked and inspire you to continue to improve and be at the top of your game. If your day is not what you expected, learn from it- learn how you can execute your racing and training better, learn what worked and what didn’t, learn that days are not won or lost just by results but how you have changed because of the day. Let your first race be the springboard for passion and excitement for years to come.