Review ArticlesTriathlon How to Mentally Prepare for the Big RaceBales, James MD*; Bales, Karrn DO†Author Information *US Air Force Academy †JKB Medical Exams, Monument, CO Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: James Bales, MD, US Air Force Academy, 18270 Bent Oak Lane, Monument, CO 80132. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review: December 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 217-219 doi: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e31825efdc5 Buy Metrics Abstract With the mastery of 3 sports required, a triathlon can be a daunting mental challenge. Some liken a triathlon to a physical game of chess. A triathlete must mentally assess their physical ability across 3 sports against their competitors, the environment, and, most of all, themselves. The mental preparation required for a triathlon is often minimized, but its importance should not be underestimated. Appropriate mental planning should be carried out during training. The need for nutrition, race planning, visualization, imaging, and possible changes in conditions should all be anticipated. Anxiousness at the start of the event is normal, but this energy needs to be channeled appropriately, or it can be detrimental. Athletes who arrive at race day with a sound mental strategy typically perform better. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.