Prepared For The Unexpected? At Least Thought It Out?*
|Woman's unplanned visit to the "sin bin."|
_____________________________________Do you think, when this athlete was topping off the air in her tires this morning, that she thought, "You know, I'm sure glad I'm the the type of racer who never gets penalized..." I wonder if her race plan included preparation for this. Does yours?
Asker Jeukendrup, Noted Sports Nutritionist, Asks, "Is gluten-free Faster?"
A study where two groups of participants, those with and those without gluten in their diets were compared. The results showed:
Sunday, local triathlon
They carried a man off the race course on a stretcher. I heard that he just collapsed on the run; maybe it was the heat – a low of mid 70's last night. Plus, the sun came up well before the first athlete was body marked or the transition area opened. As the sun climbed higher in the sky pushing the mercury toward inferno status… from a racing point of view anyway, you wonder about where all these athletes were last week. San Antonio? Sheboygan? Anchorage? Cool climate or warm climate? And how much of their well planned out race plan included weather like this? It turned out to be one of those days where the heat simply blasts you when it radiates off the asphalt. It’s a good thing most of were wearing hats and could put ice in them at the aid stations. As we watched them load the collapsed racer into the ambulance, we hoped it wasn’t something serious.
Plan “B.” Everyone needs one. You arrive at the race course and – SURPRISE – no wet suits for the swim like happened to us on Sunday in the opening outdoor 1 and 2 mile swims of the season. Or – SURPRISE – the expected temperature at race start is 15 -20 degrees higher than where you live and train. This happened at the Boston Marathon a few years ago where runners were just finishing a winter of snow running, and an unexpected heat wave brought temps in to the mid 80’s and more. Athletes were dropping like flies. There were so many people with heat related problems that the enormous armory-like building they use at the finish line with cots as far as you can see, was simply overflowing with “bodies.”
All too often, racers just plow ahead “business as usual,” and if they’re lucky, only have a poor performance. They wonder why, despite ample beverage at the post-race party and more on the way home, they still don’t pee for hours. There’s a take home lesson here.
There can be course changes, weather curve balls, rightly or wrongly you get penalized, alterations to the order of events, unintentionally getting kicked in the stomach, or face –hard- on the swim just to name a few things that cause us to re-evaluate our original race plan. How about a flat tire, broken chain or spoke, special needs bag going MIA? If we’re to survive and do our best on that particular day, flexible we must be. Despite one’s physical suffering, always try to remind yourself that everyone in your event has the same course to ride and run on and just maybe you can do it just a little better than they do. In the immortal words of that famous rock group of the 60’s, Pacific Gas and Electric, “Are You Ready?”