When she participated in the Norseman – the world's toughest extreme triathlon – Power Woman founder Anna Wretling was one of only seventeen women who reached the summit. Below are her best tips on how to handle yourself and the competition.
Take it easy on the swim. I don't want a stressful start of the day, so my swimming times are usually much slower than on exercises. You might be able to improve your swimming time by 5-10 min, but then you risk having to walk instead of running at a later stage when your body is exhausted.
Many athletes boast about their great swim and bike times, but then have to walk or quit after half the run. This is when the race really starts and ALL who reach the finish line are finishers.
Gadgets may be nice to have occasionally but your body is your most important device. Rely on your body and not on gadgets when training and running.
Ironman is like a single long picnic. You must make sure you have enough energy ALL THE TIME – and preferably take it in small doses so your stomach can handle the intake. Neglecting nutrition will result in a bad day for sure.
Adapt to the circumstances. If it is hot, turn down the beat and cool down. If it's cold, increase your speed. You can't do nothing and blame the circumstances. The better you adapt, the better you will perform.
Focus on mental preparation. It doesn't matter if your body is prepared if your head is somewhere else.
You decide your own attitude and your thoughts. You decide what you feed into your head. Are you helping yourself or not?
Don't take it too damn seriously. Many athletes seem to believe that an Ironman is about life or death. Chill! I never stop wondering how people can be so serious about a hobby, and I have a great imagination…
Do not identify yourself with your results. Get yourself a better self-esteem, so you can handle ups and downs without them affecting your person or "status". As soon as you decide that you are more than your latest time, you unleash tremendous potential.
Be kind to yourself and others, and show respect.
Don't go around thinking that you'll have "fun" and "smile" all day. You will only be disappointed.
The more you demand or expect from yourself, the harder it gets. Let loose and take things for what they are. A relaxed attitude releases energy and desire.
Don't eat the whole elephant at once. Take it in parts and one moment at a time.
It will never be the way you imagined. Just realize that you CAN'T control everything. The more flexible you are in your ability to handle what happens, the easier it gets. When you manage to solve situations without getting angry or unhappy, you are much more likely to have a good day.
Celebrate that you are on the starting line! It takes courage, time and dedication to get there, so rejoice. Starting is more important than finishing!
Good luck ❤ You're the best, no matter how it goes!