Finding Next Level Intensity for Racing

The GPC Squad had 29 athletes representing Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain & Belgium at the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast. This is one of the highest level races for amateur athletes. At this level, the difference between placing in the top 5 and the top 20 can come down to 1-2 minutes. It is high intensity racing where pushing your limits and getting the one percenters right can make the difference.

Compared to longer distance racing, sprint & standard distance is a difference type of hurt. You are racing at threshold or above for 1-2 hours, rather than a steady pace for 4-5+ hours. Hurting in a sprint distance feels like you want to collapse or have trouble breathing. Your legs and arms will be burning, you might have ‘tunnel vision’ and not acknowledge spectators.

Pushing yourself into this level of pain takes practice. You need to mentally prepare for the pain you are about to experience. GPC Squad use race simulation sets to practise this in training. You can also do some mental visualisation  to plan out your race and tactics. The key is to not give in to your brain and push through the messages telling you to stop or slow down. Take some calculated risks and race with no regrets.


  1. Be fresh and rested for a main goal
  2. Racing tired will mean being the victim of the race, not the punisher
  3. Know the course & race conditions
  4. Arrive early if it is not a local race
  5. Select the right equipment & nutrition for your race
  6. Arrive at least 100min before race start on race morning
  7. Warm up (bike or run) has to be done 60min before race start
  8. Then, time to get nutrition in, look after wetsuit, race starts and warm up
  9. Go hard or go home. Leave it all out there

Further Reading:

Season Review – Reflection for Improved Performance

Finish Line Collapse

Feeling’s Don’t Dictate Outcomes