When you put all your eggs into one single solitary basket you create loads of unnecessary pressure: because you are placing your entire year of training, perhaps more than just one year, maybe a couple of years of training all on one single solitary race. You are placing a bet… that all the hours, all the time, all that you have invested on one day going perfectly.
Why do that to yourself?
Why put so much pressure on everything going perfectly on just one day?
There are so many what ifs in your control that could go wrong, but think about all the what ifs not in your control that could just as easily go wrong and make your gamble not pay off?
There are issues with wetsuits rubbing, goggles falling off or filling up with water, and the risk of swimming off course, or going out to fast and freezing before you hit the half way point, then there are flat tires and mechanical issues with bikes, plus there is always the chance of a DQ or a penalty for violating a race policy. Transitions… getting lost in transition is not uncommon especially at big events, having your equipment kicked around by other athletes so you have to play hide and seek for your shoes or sunglasses, and then on the run… from blisters to bonking… and that’s just the start.
Why not set yourself up in your race season for success instead of risking it all in a go for broke mindset?
When you have many races, your performance in a season doesn’t come down to one day, it doesn’t come down to you have to get all things right in just one try.
Many athletes and coaches forget that competing requires a skill set all of its own… from managing pre-race jitters, to proper timing of warm up prior to race start, even getting your eating and bathroom timed right so that you aren’t starting either totally empty, or too full, or fully loaded (if you know what I mean). Competing also requires at least a minor level of mastery in pacing, and being able to do so based on technique not on perceived effort because what you perceive in a competition is not what you think you are perceiving. The energy of competitors, of an event skew our perceptions so that we think we are going out conservatively, when in reality we are sprinting in the first meters or kilometers (whatever is the nature of your event). Tactics and preparing a competition strategy to execute and against which to evaluate your performance when racing haven’t even been mentioned, yet their importance cannot go without mention. If you just enter an event and ‘wing it’… without there being specific metrics that you have decided are important for you to have a successful event… then how can you possibly assess post competition what to do in the future (when it comes to training, and a follow up event)?
The point… you can set yourself up to succeed by racing more, not less. It will offer you the chance to start slow and build through the season, gaining confidence with every well executed event, giving you feedback on where to focus your in season training so that the next event is just that much more successful.
There is as much training to compete as there is training simply to train. If you bypass the learning curve for competition, you risk failing to deliver a true reflection of all the training you have completed. Why would you want to do that?