The recent New Zealand Ironman was officially changed from a full to a half Ironman distance event due to forecast high winds. And the winds sure did howl. So how does a triathlete effectively cope with such last minute adversity? Here are a couple pearls from staff and pro veterans that might help. Here’s a quote from the men’s winner Marino Vanhoenacker on his feelings about the race:
“I just didn’t know what to do with myself when they talked about cancellation, or that the swim leg was in danger of being cut from the race. I had so many doubts in my mind because this isn’t what I’d come to do. I was ready for an Ironman distance nothing less. And, on Saturday when I should have been racing, I had to find something to do to take my mind off it so I rented a stack of videos and just watched them all day. Even as a pro with many years experience, I had so many mixed feelings and last night it was tough hearing the wind blowing till the early hours of the morning.”
1 – Create emotional space to acknowledge and adjust- we’re athletes, not machines after all. It’s ok to spend a little time working through the emotions. Just don’t spend all week…
2 – Find a way to refocus on the new race- whatever it takes, when the time is right, jump in with the same intensity as you did for the full.
3 – Apply the same race prep to the new race- especially special needs and transitions, nutrition strategy and pacing.
4 – Draw heavily on the training you’ve already done- we’re experienced endurance athletes with a wealth of knowledge to draw from- use what you know and apply it to the new race.