How to Succeed Racing Ironman 70.3

Triathlon can be a demanding sport—so how can you set yourself up for success? We asked former pro triathlete and six-time Ironman 70.3 champion Emma-Kate Lidbury to share her top tips.

Emma-Kate Lidbury wins Ironman 70.3 Kansas in 2013
Emma-Kate Lidbury wins Ironman 70.3 Kansas in 2013

Your training is done, you’ve tapered well, and now there are just a few days before race day. Here at Fast Talk Laboratories, we’re here to help make you fast. Here’s how.

Our Top 5 Tips for Racing Ironman 70.3

Listen to Your Coach

You likely pay your coach good money every month to help shape your training and preparation. Ideally, they know you well and know how to get the best from you on race day. They have an objectivity that you, as the athlete, might often lack, especially as race day draws closer. This is why it’s really important to listen to their advice and strategy on how to approach your race—from pacing and power through to fuel and gear. Don’t overlook your coach’s guidance and advice.

Don’t Do Anything New on Race Day

You’ve probably read this a thousand times before, but guess what? Triathletes young and old still seem to think they can get away with doing something new on race day, whether that’s a new pair of run shoes, a new brand of fuel, or something else. Don’t be tempted; it’s never worth it. We all know the athlete who’s suffered hideous blisters after running 13.1 miles in new run shoes—or who’s chafed beyond belief after thinking a new race suit would work well for the first time on race day. It rarely (if ever) does.

It’s All About the Bike

OK, it’s not really. But your equipment—and how well it is working—will play a huge part in your race-day success, so make sure all of your gear is in good working order and ready to go, ideally well ahead of race day. Make sure your bike is tuned up, your wetsuit and tri suit/race suit are in good condition and feeling comfortable, and you have all of your preferred race-day fuel lined up. There’s no excuse for not having these things in order—and it’ll help the final few days of your race prep be as stress-free as possible so that you can kick back, relax, and spend time visualizing your race.

Hydrate and Fuel Well

Both in the days leading into the race—and, of course, on race day itself—it is mission-critical to stay well-hydrated and well-fueled. Think of your body as an engine that needs good-quality fuel to perform at its best. As you’re resting and tapering coming into your event, remember to drink plenty of water and electrolytes, and be sure to eat enough carbs, protein, and good fats. Everyone is different, so be sure you know what works for you and you’ve practiced this plenty of times leading into (and on) key race-day simulation sessions. (Need help on this? We’ve got you covered with our Sports Nutrition Pathway).

Enjoy It, Learn From It, and Grow…

The chances are, you do this for fun and fitness, so never lose sight of the fact that you “get” to race versus feeling you have to. View race day as your time to shine, your time to showcase all of the great training and preparation you have banked over the preceding weeks and months. It’s triathlon, a lot can (and might) go wrong, so be ready to learn from that, and be ready to grow and become a better athlete as a result. It’s something that a lot of great coaches can help you with (as outlined in the latest module of our Craft of Coaching series with Joe Friel on Managing Athlete Performance).

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