5 Tips For Completing Your First Ironman-Distance Triathlon Race
[Editor's Note: The global COVID-19 pandemic has irreparably changed the fabric of our daily lives. And this includes all things related to triathlon—especially racing and competition. While both professional and amateur triathlon races have ceased for the time being, they will return at some point in the future. With that in mind, we present to you this particular blog post with hope in our society's ability to overcome all of life's challenges, as well as optimism that we will emerge from this challenge stronger after having been reforged in the crucible of shared struggle. Racing will return.]
We’re partnering with a few members of the Every Man Jack triathlon team to bring you a new informative series on getting into multi-sport racing, building a training plan, and balancing your athletic goals with everything else going on in your life. This edition comes courtesy of Matt Barcus.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into triathlon racing?
My name is Matt Barcus, and I’m 38 years old. I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I work as a senior buyer for CarMax. I grew up playing team sports and would run off and on to stay in shape. At 30, I bought myself a bike and fell in love with the freedom to explore. I’m not really sure how the jump to triathlon made sense, but I decided I would learn to swim and go from there. Since starting to race triathlons 8 years ago, I’ve completed 9 Ironman-distance races and have picked up a couple of tips along the way.
Matt’s top 5 tips For Ironman-distance triathlon racing:
#1—Get a bike fit from a trusted bike fitter. Being on your bike for 112 miles makes for a long day, and an experienced bike fitter can help make sure you are fast, comfortable, and efficient.
#2—Come up with a nutrition plan and test it in training. Make a back-up plan, too! If you physically drop or lose your nutrition on race day, then there is plenty on course to not derail your day. But being prepared will make the adjustment easier if you need to.
#3—Keep your bike maintained and get a tune-up a couple of weeks before the race. This will make sure your bike is as ready as you are, and you’ll have those last few rides to work out any kinks.
#4—Test your race gear, and trust it. Don’t use anything new on race day! It can be easy to get caught up in the cool new gear at the expo. Use the excitement for new gear to motivate you for your next race. Otherwise, stick with your tried-and-true gear.
#5—Have fun! Ironman racing is never perfect. Remember that little things can go wrong. Accept that the day won’t be perfect, stay positive, and keep moving forward.