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Triatletes get last minutes tips from pros racing Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawai

Posted Jun 04 2011 9:02am

03_Ironman Tips

Around 50 triathletes gathered at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows this morning to gain some last minute tips and advice from Team Mauna Lani pros before tomorrow's race. Matt Lieto, Luke Bell, Bree Wee, John Flanagan and local Hawaii Island triathletes, Penn Henderson, Rani Tanimoto and Andrea Bess offered insiders knowledge on the course and shared some of their own personal pre-race rituals.

Bree Wee stressed the importance of starting the race with confidence. You've trained and put in the hard work, so now it's time to get out there and give it your best. Remind yourself why you are doing this, especially when the going gets tough. Each person has different reasons for competing, so keep these reasons top-of-mind.

Luke Bell recommended breaking the race down into achievable goals, helping to mentally overcome the distance. When you start the swim, only think about the buoy you are swimming out to. This is not the time to be wasting valuable mental energy thinking about the run.

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Radio host, triathlon coach and NLP practitioner, Simon Gowen, was also on the panel this morning and emphasized the importance of staying within your own personal race plan. Don't focus on everyone else, just focus on yourself. Visualize crossing the finish line and how you’ll feel when you accomplish this. Simon recommended selecting your favorite song and playing this over and over in your head to keep you motivated. AC/DC's TNT is a great choice he said.

The "Superfish" John Flanagan, known for being first out of the water, recommended swimming with a focus, such as straight towards the buoy rather than veering off the side. Select a focus point of where you need to go, such as a spot on the mountain, rather than the person in front of you, as they may not be swimming the most direct way. If you can draft off someone, go for it.

The heavy winds on the Queen K were a concern for many racing in Hawaii for the first time. Local Penn Henderson said to go in prepared for strong winds as they are not going to ease. Instead of concentrating too much on the wind, focus on taking in adequate nutrition and hydration.

Matt Lieto advised that around 40 percent of the run is on the Mauna Lani Resort golf course, making the terrain spongy and somewhat challenging. This means that you won’t have an even pace, however don't be too concerned as this is the same for everyone.

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The Q&A session ended with a swim in Mauna Lani Bay led by John Flanagan and Matt Lieto.

At the end of the day, whether you are a pro or beginner triathlete, it was acknowledged that everyone experiences the same pre-race nerves and anticipation. It's natural. Just get out there and enjoy the experience.

Have a great race!

* This story was wrtten by our friend Bree Dallwitz of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

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