Learning every race

By Kevin Grogan

The more I race the sport of triathlon,
the more I learn how much I don’t know.

I have been going at it (triathlon) for about 20 years, yet I still discover aspects about the sport & myself that I didn’t know yesterday. Just when I think I have it figured out, I have a poorly executed race.

Lastweek ’s Clermont Olympic race was not what I had planned. Looking back, I did not put as much race prep into it so I can’t beat myself up too much. In order to move on (& as my daughter Nora Rose says) “have closure” , I will now write five things I could of differently; just as I would tell an athlete I am coaching to do. Here goes.

  1. Thinking you have a strong core & lower back is so important. The core doesn’t get stronger by just thinking about it. The work has to be done. Baffles me why I neglect this aspect of my training EVERY year. I promise you this trend ends now!
  2. Race nutrition. I talk race nutrition every day with my customers & athletes but don’t commit to a plan before race day. If you want race day to go well, you must train your body to get that done. This starts with fueling exactly what you are going to do on race day.
  3. Ride your bike. Cycling is a blue collar sport; many of you have heard me tell you this. You don’t get any stronger having your bike featured on Slowtwitch.com. The work has to be done. Train so race day won’t be a complete suffer-fest. My Columbus, Ga. buddy Wes Hargrove favorite saying when it comes to cycling is “Do your job!” Commit to make riding your bike “your job”.
  4. Set realistic goals. This goes back to thinking I can still “fake” race results that came easy 10 years ago. If I want the same results as I had back then, the reality is that I need to work 10 times harder! I still feel like I have plenty to prove & plenty of good races left in me.
  5. Triathlon is an investment. It’s that time of year to invest in each discipline if you want to see the rewards on race day. I sure do love my Oakwood ribs (maybe the fish from now on), but is that choice of entrée the best for me when I am trying to get on my snug BlueSeventy?

There you have it. On a positive note, the pre & postrace time with my S4 teammates was the highlight of my race day. I thank that group of guys for always being fun to hang out with. Hopefully this bad race will help me build on the 2016 season to come; there is work to do!

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