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.”

As quoted on Ironman.com

image of Ironman New Zealand swim course
These are not ideal race conditions

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.

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