It's go time! 6 days left and nothing more can be done. Time to sleep, eat and chill.
I’m no pro and with only two Ironman finishes under my belt I certainly can’t claim to be the most experienced athlete, but I have raced in PE twice and I’ve made enough mistakes to know what not to do.
Here are a few words of advice from the Average Athlete.
Bring your credit card to the expo. You may only do one Ironman so make sure you buy enough kit to last a lifetime. How do you know if someone has done an ironman……Don’t worry, you’ll know.
Don’t try anything different on race day. You will get this advice from most pros and coaches and they are 100% correct. I got this wrong in my first Ironman by shoveling down Doritos and Biltong at Transition 2 (Bike to Run). Don't ask why, there was no thought or logic behind this. The first 5km of the run were not pleasant. Moral of the story, stick to what you know.
Whatever you do, don’t stop! There is nothing wrong with a good run walk strategy but try your hardest not to stop and sit down. Sitting down is often the start of a downward spiral. As Standard Bank say, “keep moving forward”
Embrace the hurt. It’s not a case of if, it’s a case of when and for how long. I tend to hurt in the last 30km on the bike, first 5km on the run and then patches between 25-35km. You just need to push through it. Try distracting yourself by humming a song or focus on reaching the next water table. You don’t have to enjoy the pain but accept that it is part of becoming an Ironman.
Enjoy the Run. This is the best part of the race. The crowds are great and you will hear them cheering you on by name (it’s on your race number). Feed off the crowds' energy, you will need it.
Take your time on the red carpet. As you take the final right turn onto the carpet, slow it down. This is what you have been training for. Take it in. don’t forget to point to your number as you approach the announcers. This will give them the signal to proclaim those glorious words “JASON…. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”
Practice your finish line pose.
Yes, "Blue Steel" works
Or even the "Lightning Bolt"
However, like Matt Kassel, you will more than likely be overwhelmed by emotion and only manage the “Dawson Cry”
Layer up after the race. Make sure you have enough warm kit waiting for you at the finish. The temperature drops rapidly in PE when the sun goes down. You may want to stick around after you finish to watch your mates come in or have a drink with your supporters so make sure you have a warm jacket and track pants.
Lastly, thank your family for the support. For putting up with the 4.30am wake ups and early bedtimes. They have sacrificed a lot to allow you to chase your dream.
See you at you start!!!