Making the Right Decision

Sometimes the difference between winning and placing has nothing to do with your physical capability, or how good your equipment looks, but more to do with your decision making processes.

In any event, but particularly multisport events, there are numerous decisions that are made on race day from the moment you wake up. For example, what time to have breakfast and what to eat? What time to leave? What time to start warm up? What air pressure to run? Which bike rack spot to take? Which cassette to run? How to navigate the course? And so it goes.

Many of the decisions made on race day are irreversible and can potentially have an enormous effect race day performance - to the extent that making one wrong decision can mean the difference between finishing and not finishing a race.

Fortunately, the correct answers to most of the decisions that are required to be made on race day relate to aspects that can be either be researched or rehearsed, and therefore can be predetermined in such a way that they are more likely to lead to a predictable (hopefully positive) effect on performance. These include bike set up, race day schedule, pacing strategies, race tactics, course navigation, and nutrition related decisions - all of these can be either rehearsed and/or researched prior to race day. That being the case, why is it on race day athletes can be heard asking how to tape their gels to their top tubes, which way they turn round a a buoy, or where the swim exit is?

Maximising the likelihood of a worthwhile return on your training investment in any event means preparing for all of the aspects of that event - not just the technical and performance related aspects of the swim, bike and run.  When preparing for an event - which type of athlete do you want to be? Do you want to be the athlete who is making first-time decisions on race day; or do you want to be as prepared as you can be for every predictable decision that you are likely to encounter on race day by having well rehearsed and/or researched all of the aspects required to excel on race day.

Decision time.