Mental Training for Ironman Boulder

I have spent a lot of time mentally preparing for Ironman Boulder these last few weeks…reading about mental training, visualization, mantras, positive self talk, etc.

Carrie Cheadle’s most recent article in Training Peaks…5 Simple Strategies for Overcoming Race Day Nerves…has a lot of great focus points for race day.

She also has the book On Top of Your Game that I have read and have found VERY helpful for mental training.

One of my favorite books on mental training...perfect pre race reading :)
One of my favorite books on mental training…perfect pre race reading 🙂

I’ve decided to take you inside my mental training and let you “see” what I see and “hear” what I hear.


Pre race planning
Pre race planning


  • Smell the Sharpie marker at body marking
  • I am relaxed and ready
  • Taste Goldfish crackers, Osmo Preload and Barnanas
  • See the bike pump as pressure is added to my tires
  • Smell wetsuits
  • Hear announcements and the Star Spangled Banner


  • Feel the cool water enter my wetsuit
  • Smell the clean, fresh air
  • Hear the water and people splashing around me
  • Feel strong and relaxed
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!


  • Easily remove wetsuit
  • Slowly run to change tent to keep heart rate low
  • Easily change into tri kit and arm coolers
  • Feel Body Glide and Hoo Ha Ride Glide on skin
  • Taste water and Goldfish Crackers
  • Feel cool water on arm coolers
  • Feel bike shoes and helmet
  • Be focused and relaxed
  • Be patient
  • Smile!


  • Easily climb out of transition with bike in an easier gear
  • Keep HR and power low for first 11 miles
  • Be strong and focused
  • Stay seated and relaxed to successfully execute climbs
  • Drink and Taste Osmo Active  every 30 minutes
  • Taste and smell Goldfish crackers
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!
  • Be patient early on
  • Be powerful
  • Be focused and relaxed


  • Keep HR low
  • Taste and smell goldfish crackers and water
  • Hear crowds cheering
  • Feel new socks and running shoes
  • Smile!


  • Start easy with low HR
  • Easy and controlled breathing
  • Taste grapes and oranges
  • Hear crowds cheering
  • Taste Honey Stinger Chews
  • Run efficiently and strong
  • Taste Osmo Active
  • Smile!
  • Have Fun!



  • Straight, fluid and relaxed – at the start of the swim
  • Straight, fluid and strong – once I’ve found my groove
  • “Just Keep Swimming”




  • I am strong. I am tough.
  • I am brave. I am fearless
  • Think Gold and Don’t Settle for Silver!
  • “I feel good…”                                                                                 James Brown

Positive Self Talk:

  • This should hurt, but it will go away. Embrace it!
  • I am strong.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am tough.

Do you do mental training as part of your pre-race training? If so, what additional mental training components do you incorporate into your training?

8 thoughts on “Mental Training for Ironman Boulder

    1. Visualization is my #1 for sure! I’m going to add in the “positive” part to my plan the next few days. Thanks for the suggestion Leslie!

  1. Yes!!! Love this Kecia. You are going to rock that course. Three things about this that make me believe you are my spirit sister – GOLDFISH (yum, my favorite), Smile!, and a little Jason Aldean. Go kick butt girl!

  2. I wish I had paid more attention to this post when I read it the first time. After Louisville, I now know I need to pay more attention to my mental game. Going to purchase the book you mentioned. Glad I was able to dig this post up!!

    1. It is a GREAT book and one I will refer to again and again before every “A” race. Mental training is often overlooked, but so important to our success on race day. Congrats on Louisville 😉

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