How Giant UK Ambassador, Tom Davis, comes back from a bad race:
“With triathlon, and all the component parts, it's inevitable that at some point you will have a race where something goes a bit wrong - no matter how much you prepare and think of every scenario… So, how do you move on from a race that didn't go to plan, especially if it's been a big target? Here's my advice...
Let yourself feel dissapointed:
The first step is to allow yourself a few days to feel disappointed, frustrated etc… This is a massive part of trying to process the disappointment of a setback; and mentally move on from it. If you rush this part then it's likely you'll lose motivation down the line, or quite simply not really hit the sessions you're trying to do anyway - so make sure that you have enough time, until you feel ready to get back to it.
Stay goal orientated:
The next thing is to find another goal. Once you've processed the fact that it didn't quite work out as you had initially hoped, the next thing in my experience, is to find that thing that gives you the fire to push on in training again - whether that's another race, or just a challenge to get you back into the saddle, as athletes we’re all goal motivated, so having a finish line will help, especially on the days when you're finding it hard to swing a leg over the saddle!
Try to figure out what went wrong:
Once you've started training again, the next step is to identify what and why it went wrong last time. Whether it was kit related, or something you've missed in training, now is the time to make sure that the issue is sorted (or at least as much as you can) so that it doesn’t happen again.
Work on what you need to work on, don't avoid it:
If there’s an issue like struggling on the bike after swimming, then make sure you add in some swim to bike brick sessions, or if it's something like nutrition that lets you down then it's time to practice race nutrition on the longer training days. Alternatively if you're not sure what's gone wrong, or more importantly, how to correct it, then maybe it's time to bring in a coach, or seek some expert advice.
Hopefully that gives you a starting point on how to continue after a disappointing event, but the important thing to remember is that everyone has their share of bad luck and setbacks, it's how you push on after that makes the difference; and if you can come back stronger and wiser then it wasn't a wasted race after all - and remember the setback will make that next success all the sweeter”.
We hope this blog post motivates and inspires others who may be going through a similar situation. Trust the process and know that the success will feel incredible, especially after a setback.
Follow Tom Davis on social media and stay up-to-date with his latest tips, training and race results.