On average, professional triathletes spend 4% of their time racing and the remaining 96% in training. If they prepare for their main race of the season, they even invest more than 99% of their time in training. And precisely for this reason it is time to think about the perfect preparation for a race.
To start off I would like to point out a fundamental misconception: a preparation will almost never be "perfect". Be sure not to aspire to that. Moreover, try to organize the best possible preparation to get the most out of it. When training for a triathlon, the three disciplines, the weather and the situation in general may force us to accept compromises and make the best of a given situation.
In my eyes, a preparation is only "perfect" if I race correspondingly. In that case the whole package, consisting of training, preparation and race, can be considered as successful and "perfect" in retrospective.
I would also like to mention another element, besides the race itself, which for professional triathletes unfortunately seems to be less important. I am referring to the "emotional experience of a race",which relates not only to the mere result and the performance shown but focuses on the emotions and sentiments of our sport.
True to the motto "What you experience counts and not what you achieve", the sport of triathlon offers countless opportunities to experience oneself, to "enjoy" exertions and to live nature during preparation, training, travelling and also when racing. It is a chance to live and discover things we would never have thought possible.
This is of utmost importance in order to be constantly motivated. It is not the results that make this sport attractive, which holds especially true for the vast majority of non-professional triathletes.
I have managed to preserve this "explorer gene" for all these years. I still love to move, to get outside and to learn more about the nature, the country and their inhabitants.
Next Sunday, with Ironman Zurich, another classical race experience awaits me. There, it is first of all the result that counts, although my experiences during my preparation were just as worthwhile. Considering this, the preparation has been good for me. If in the end it was "perfect", I will tell you after the race.
In this sense: train hard and intelligently and consider the race not just as an event or a result, but as one part of your global life as a sportsperson - It's the journey that counts!