Visualization is a big part of my races these days. Generally I write down a race plan and read it every night leading up to a big race and try to visualize myself executing the plan and anticipating any problems that could occur and what to do if they pop up.
The Swim: My start time is 7:09. Get in the water and warmup with some easy swimming. The course will be a rectangle with all left turns so try to line up on the right. I tend to drift left when I swim so starting on the right will keep me on the right side of the buoys and out of the washing machine start. Don't get caught up in the scrum and sprint at the start. Go easy and stay steady. Sight often and keep buoys in sight. After making last turn towards the shore start adding in some kicking to get the blood flowing into the legs again so they are ready to run out of the water.
goal time 38 minutes
T1: There is a long run to transition, so get the goggles and cap off and go. If wetsuit is on, start stripping down to waist while jogging. Wetsuit off, shirt on. Helmet fastened, then glasses and shoes. Take a quick gel and sip of water then go.
Bike: Stay steady just below the burn for this first 25 miles, then the rolling section occurs. strong up the hills and recovery down. The way back is a gradual decrease in elevation so it's hammer time. power bar at 45 minutes, fig newtons at 1:30 and depending on stomach power par triple threat or gel at 2:20.
goal time 2:50
T2: Don't forget your race number. socks and shoes on, grab hat and fuel belt. fuel belt should have two gatorades filled and two empty bottles with just the powder to fill on the course.
Run: gel every 3.5 - 4 miles, start off around 9:30 and pick up the pace when feeling good. It's a two loop course so pay attention on first loop and be ready for the grind on the second. Ice in the hat if they have it at the rest stops and keep hydrated.
goal time 2:15
goals for this race
of course finishing is the number one goal but 6 hours is definitely in reach and if I'm having a good day I think I can get 5:45 but there are many factors in this, including length issues in course measurement, weather and mechanical issues. Don't get caught up in the time during the race, just go at a strong pace that you can hold for 6 hours and go as fast as possible.