Pro Linsey Corbin reveals how she finally nabbed the top spot at Ironman Arizona last fall.
This article was originally published in the March/April 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
Ironman Arizona has long been one of Linsey Corbin’s sentimental favorite races. It was the first Ironman she ever witnessed (in 2006). But with three consecutive second-place finishes (2009, 2010 and 2011), the title seemed to elude Corbin—until November 2012, when her never-give-up attitude propelled her from a disappointing swim to the podium’s top spot. Here, Corbin shares the tricks that helped score her long-sought win.
Take it one step at a time. Corbin says not to worry about the marathon when you’re only a half-mile into the swim. “People always say to focus on the moment and not think about what’s ahead. That’s easy to hear, but to implement it is something different,” Corbin says. “It’s something I really focused on in 2012. In Arizona I was having a horrible swim. Rather than think: Nine minutes! I’ll never make that up! I tried to think about something that was going great. I focused on the blue sky. I told myself: Let’s go for a lovely long ride and then see what happens. I did a really good job of staying in the now. At the start of the run I just thought: All right, let’s see how much time I can cut in. I never thought of winning.”
Trust your plan. Corbin’s Ironman Arizona bike strategy has always been to progressively build through each of three laps. In years past she’s struggled to pace herself, but in 2012 she battled a cold during race week that oddly helped her execute an ideal ride. “I’m always in a rush because all the energy’s at the front of the race and you need to get up there as fast as you can. This time my body was pretty lethargic, so I actually did what I was supposed to do, almost by default. And it was like: Wow, this works!”
Get every last drop. “You always have these mantras and images you’re going to say and draw on during a race. But those things don’t necessarily come to mind. Instead the silliest things do, like little gifts. I kept thinking: You’re a ketchup packet. Squeeze out every last drop. Why would that come into my head?” says Corbin, laughing. “But you can imagine that cheap plastic packet and just trying to squeeze out every last drop.”
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