I have always been a detailed person. I remember the end of my Junior year of high school, my English teacher returned everyone’s papers from the entire year in one folder…and then brought me three.
This characteristic has served me very well in triathlon over the years, especially as I have gotten older and had to win races by racing smart versus just fitness. I am convinced that most races are won in the details, both in how you prepare and how you race. Many races come down to seconds or a decision on when to attack or sit in. Nailing the details are what makes the difference.
In preparing for competition, the smart racer will study the course and the competition in detail to determine where his advantages are, and his competition’s weaknesses. He will play through the race with a few different scenarios and plan exactly how he will react in all circumstances. He will prepare specifically for these scenarios and visualize the outcome until it becomes a reality. The smart racer will take the time to practice such details as nutrition, drinking from a cup on the run, and good pacing. He will also make sure his transitions are perfect and a big advantage on race day.
On race day, the smart racer will know the course and have driven it or trained on it. He will get there early enough to do a good warm up and be ready for the start when it is time. He will walk through transition and make sure he understands the flow as well as run several times down the finish to understand exactly the best line if it comes down to a sprint. While racing, the smart racer will stay present but also think one step ahead on what needs to happen to be ready for the next segment. He will read his competition constantly and exploit their weakness. He will be victorious.