Pre-Race Tips

This article is reminding how to keep your pre-competition preparation on song. They will be many of you that are already in your race phase so there are some important considerations especially if racing on consecutive weekends. Pre race preparation is of vital importance to Ironman Triathletes. If your not prepared then you are planning to fail.

1. Pre-competition reminders
2. Competition phase Training
3. Recovery
4. Nutrition Tips

Pre- competition phase
Always have a good warm up to prepare you for your race pace weekly work outs and do not forget the warm down to speed up the recovery. Remember fitness is all about recovery. Failing to cool down properly loses some of the fitness gains that could be made from the quality session, plus when you start your next session you will still have your last session in your legs.

Break up harder intervals or race pace into shorter parts maintain good form. If you are planning on doing 4 x 1600m bike efforts consider 800m then 1200m next time then 1600m efforts. You can still cover the total same distance; just mix it around.

Competition Phase Training
If you are in your race phase complete NO MORE than a total of 4 hard sessions in the week between racing on consecutive weekends. With only 6 days between each competition you need to make sure that this includes NO MORE than the following sessions for each discipline:

1. Swimming - max of 3 hard swimming sessions
2. Cycling - max of 2 hard sessions (e.g. a time trial, hill reps or road race)
3. Running - once preferably intervals with long recoveries or a 5km for sprint and Olympic and 10km for Olympic and middle distance.

Be flexible and if you are tired then change the sessions about. Think, do you benefit from having 3 easy days after a competition before building up again or do you just need 2-3 easy days before your next race?

Some athletes perform best when their sessions on each day leading up to a race are easy, medium and then hard. Others prefer a hard session day, then medium, then easy before they race.

Test your self and learn what works for you. The hard/ medium/ easy preference may lack endurance as they need to recover from the hard session but note that this may be a lack of confidence rather than physiological. So use your early C & B races to learn.

For the over 40’s, doing 2 hard sessions on the same day provides more easy days in the 6 days between races.

Avoid weight training during your key 6 week competition phase.

Recovery
With less training sessions now being completed each week you will have the flexibility to change things around. Just do your pace efforts and include a good warm up and recovery. This is all you need to maintain fitness. You will remain very fit by reducing your volume by as much as 50% providing you maintain race pace training. Fatigue often takes 2-6 days to catch you up so do not be worried if you feel lethargic. The less you do the more tired you may become, enjoy as this is perfectly normal.

All racing is demanding so always ease down your training before racing even if it you think “it’s just a C race”. This will a) make recovery better b) you will be less likely to pick up an injury.

Nutrition Tips
Now you are completing much harder efforts, make sure you are getting plenty of local fresh fruit, salads and vegetables. You need protection from free radical damage caused by hard intensity and racing. Have foods that are high in anti-oxidants, these include fish, fruit, grains, some meats, poultry nuts and vegetables.