Last week on the Zim’s blog we talked about the preparation that goes into a successful race whether it be a run, triathlon or open water swim. While you will still probably have some nerves a plan is essential to any kind of successful race.

With our plan in hand it is now time to talk about the race. How do we successfully cross that finish line? Here are some tips.

1. Have confidence- Like I said, you are going to have nerves but try your best to trust in your training and have confidence. You’ve worked hard. You’re ready Positive self-talk is a skill that is useful in any kind of endeavor in life but especially when your body may be telling you to give up and stop exerting so much energy.

2. Have fun- most of us aren’t training for the Olympics so try to have fun in your race. Chat with other racers, smile at watchers in the stand. Make it an enjoyable experience and you’ll walk away with a smile on your face no matter your time.

3. Small goals- one of the keys that works for me in a race is making the goals smaller. This should be part of your plan going in but even if it isn’t working to get to a smaller goal like a buoy or water stand may be more motivating than the grand goal of the finish line. I know in the water it can feel like I’m on a swim treadmill so breaking it down to 25 strokes, 50 strokes keeps me motivated.

4. Stay hydrated- this is particularly difficult for swimmers as we can’t carry water easily. If it is a long enough swim than make sure your kayak support has water and other supplies you might need. A lot of these races are done in the summer sun and heatstroke can happen if you aren’t careful.

5. Pace yourself- not only is setting small goals important but make sure you pace yourself for your race. Don’t go through all your energy at the start of the course. Save a reserve for the ending when you know you will be especially tired. Also take a look at the track ahead of time so you know what parts will be particularly challenging.

What about you? What have you learned helps you to have a great race? I’d love to hear in the comments section. However you end up getting across that finish line congrats on a race well done!