Ohana - the Kona Mindset

Ohana Means Family 

If you spend much time in Hawaii, the word ‘Ohana’ comes up frequently. It’s the Hawaiian word for family, and it truly means ‘family’ in the extended sense of the term, including direct family members, relatives, neighbors and your community.

Our own Purple Patch family is made up of triathletes of all levels - each with their own goals and aspirations. Whether it is an athlete completing their first triathlon, a middle of the pack athlete setting a PR, or an athlete qualifying for a World Championship, we celebrate every victory along the way because we know that success in this sport is different for each person and that true evolution comes from a multi-season approach to training, progression, and enjoyment.

On October 14th, four Purple Patch professionals –  Laura Siddall, Sarah Piampiano, Tim Reed, Jesse Thomas – and dozens of Purple Patch amateur athletes will toe the line at IRONMAN Hawaii. They will be testing themselves against the competition as well as the challenging heat, humidity, and winds that are notorious on the Hawaii course.

As the holy grail of many long-course triathletes, there isn’t a race that is more discussed and analyzed than this one, often leading athletes to overthink it. As many finalize their training and prepare to head to the Big Island, I thought I would share a few thoughts on the race and on handling the occasion.

Last Minute Advice From Matt Dixon

  1. Don’t change a winning formula - It’s just another race so stick with the strategies and formulas that have worked for you in the past. I’ve seen athletes lose grip of this with the fear of the occasion and start tweaking their rituals. Stay the course with your familiar race approach.
  2. Nail the basics - Commit to eating well, maintaining hydration, executing the plan and not getting distracted during race week.
  3. Show up fresh - With the heat, humidity and logistics of Kona week, it is close to impossible to recover once on the island. Give yourself as much time and space before travel to rest up and arrive fresh. Arrive depleted, from training or life, and it gets very difficult to rejuvenate before race day.
  4. Stay cool - Your body will adapt to the heat during small training doses at low intensity (30-50 minutes). More time and exercise will not make you adapt quicker. Don’t be afraid to turn on the air conditioning in your condo to maintain an optimal environment for rest, sleep and low-stress living.
  5. Don’t over-hydrate - Maintain your regular routine of eating, drinking and fueling. While training, you will need to be diligent (1-1.5 liters of hydration per hour), but outside of training, manage your hydration as you usually would.
  6. Limit the activities - IM Hawaii is a special event and there is a lot of hullabaloo taking place on the island during race week. Be selective in your attendance, enjoying some of the activities but without exhausting yourself and winding up depleted come race-day.
  7. Control the controllable - Your focus should be on self-performance. This is something you can control. When you have control, you have ease of mind. When you chase something out of your control, you will likely panic, fret or worry.  So, let that slide away and retain focus and energy on the execution of things you can control. These include:
  • Your warm-up
  • Your equipment readiness
  • Your race day fueling and hydration
  • Your pacing and effort
  • Your form and posture
  • Your emotional breakdown of the race and execution of those parts on the day
  1. Manage the ego - Most athletes race Kona too hard. The environment and occasion are challenging, so keep things as simple and process driven as possible.

Have confidence in your training and commit to showing up fresh, doing all the things under your control correctly, and then see what happens. That’s the race plan. Simple.

Mahalo and see you out there,

Purple Patch