In the videos below Macca talks this and that while getting treated by his physiotherapist in Hawaii. However what he talks is not the key. The most important thing to notice is how relaxed he looks just before the race. This was Macca's last massage before Triathlon World Championship in October 2010, which he won after a long exciting battle with Andreas Raelert.
Coaches often claim that athletes who train harder will be more likely to win. Perhaps it is also true that athletes who are able to recover better will be more successful. After all, in a recent blog of his, Macca writes:
"Recovery is king! Always err on the side of recovery in your training program. Recovery takes many forms, and body maintenance (massage, yoga, etc) sleep and rest are imperative to the game and the mix."
Maybe his ability to recover well is related to the fact that in 25 years of racing and training, Macca has never had any physical injury of any kind. That alone is a remarkable achievement.
It's also possibly his extensive racing experience that counts. Macca is 37 years old. In the past decade, he has tried winning in Kona 9 times. In three of those races he has DNF'd (2002, 2004, 2008). In 2006 he finished second with 8:13:07 time. In 2007 he won with a slower time 8:15:34. In 2010 he won again with his best time in Hawaii 8:10:37.
Chris "MACCA" McCormack: Pre-race thoughts and feelings, part 1 from susann kräftner on Vimeo.
MACCA, a very special Biest – before his 9th race on Hawaii, world championships 2010
Yesterday we had the privilege to join Chris at his last massage before the race. It was a very contemplative talk from the massage table.
Through all these years that I know Chris I saw a man maturing, becoming a wise athlete and phenomenal character. He has got the unique ability to not only make mistakes and learn from them, but he also has the courage to be outspoken about them. And it is amazing, how Chris is always ready to meet challenges, and fight his fears, how is always ready to change!
This is the first part of the talk. There will be more about to come.
Chris "MACCA" McCormack: Pre-race thoughts and feelings, part 2 from susann kräftner on Vimeo.
Recorded before his 9th race on Hawaii, world championships 2010
Now we now it, he is a very special Biest without any doubt. In an outstanding performance Chris won the Ironman world championships 2010 on the Big Island. It was probably the best race of his life. In our talk before the race he was talking about his ability to suffer, about the fact that you have to be prepared to suffer.
Your readiness to take and accept the pain in the end makes the difference whether you win or lose.
Chris "MACCA" McCormack: Pre-race thoughts and feelings, part 3 from susann kräftner on Vimeo.
Recorded before his 9th world championship race on Hawaii, world championships 2010
While MACCA's victory flushed away the rest of the racing season, and MACCA became the hero of the year it might still interest you what Chris had to say before he went into this big battle. If you listen to his words attentively it may not surprise you why he was ready and capable to win his 2nd world championship title.
Chris talks about his ability to suffer, and about this year's racing strategy "first of all to enjoy the race".
Chris "MACCA" McCormack: Pre-race thoughts and feelings, part 4 from susann kräftner on Vimeo.
Recorded before his 9th world championship race on Hawaii, 2010
Here is the last part of my talk with Chris on Thursday before the race. He is talking about race strategy, about how to stay focused during hours of pain and discomfort, and about the issue of being a big guy. This conversation shows a mature athlete who has grown and learned a lot during all these years of racing. Chris stands for the advantages of age and not the disadvantages that most people are so concerned with. This calmness, this being in his very center finally made him a favorite for this race. Definitely cues no expert paid attention to.