Ironman Race Week Mistakes

No amount of training will help in last 7 days only hinder, stay injury free, the fresher you are the faster you will go by slowing up later in the Ironman triathlon.

Positive mental attitude got you this far so then meeting up with other Ironman training buddies as you finish your session and they are just starting and going along and doing extra miles will ruin your race. You could you end up doing twice as much with no food or drink. You should be resting. Rest your mind and wind down. The people who do well are never seen training all day race week or standing around in the blazing sun chatting about what they might do, save your talk for the awards party.

Do not walk around barefoot either in your accommodation (unfamiliar territory) on sun baked tarmac swimming pools or the beach. Walking around with shoes will reduce the possibility of cutting your foot or stubbing your toes. This could end in stitches not the end of the world but if infected could force you not to start or cross the finish line.

Try out your race breakfast several mornings before. Consider when do you get hungry? If making porridge (Oats) in the microwave, get the measurements right so on race morning this is one thing less to worry about.

Do not be so busy fitting in that last training session only to arrive at your race destination to find all the energy bars inner tubs/tyres or gels are sold out at the local sports and bike store. Triathletes generally have a habit or buying too much. Plan what you are going to eat and take it with you.

Aim to eat last main meal 10-12 hours before breakfast the following morning to completely digest it.

Try NOTHING new in the 3 days before the Ironman. That food on the restaurant menu could be the last thing that ruins your race even 3 nights from Ironman day.

Practice what you do in training but think about the triathlon. By this we mean the following. If you use 400 calories in training combined from fluid and food consider how far you travel.

If you cover 16 miles an hour on the bike in training remember you may be covering 20 miles per hour which will be 25% further so you need to consider 500 calories per hour in the Iron man triathlon. This needs to be tried and tested during race pace training. If you use one scoop full of your favorite carbohydrate drink in a 500ml bottle then DO NOT use two scoops in a 750ml, the bottle is not twice the volume use one and a half scoops.

Be smart avoid queues this will wear you out more so if in the sun. Get there early. This can be at registration, race morning. Some events do body marking the day before, if the pen does not rub on the sheets do it as early as possible.

Visualize what you are going to do and feel at certain parts of the Triathlon weeks before the race otherwise do this on the night before the Ironman and you could become more anxious and not be able to drift off to sleep.


Saturday Week before (8 days before)
30-50 mile bike- Middle 20-35 miles at Average Ironman pace on tri bars. Spin last 3 miles of bike then run 4-5 miles. Or 40% of longest ride in last 8 weeks. Build up pace from shuffle first mile to average Ironman pace 2-4 miles then ease back.

Tip- Ironman specific training. Get as much kit spares and bike ready to reduce stress. Make a list of what you plan on taking and tick off as you pack it. This can help reduce stress and help you get off to sleep easier without your mind thinking. Have note pad by your bed and write down your thoughts so you can forget them & go to sleep till the following morning.
Sunday (7 days before)

Swim- Optional 1500m Bike- REST, Run 60-75 minutes at Ironman race pace or slower. Tip-take a gel or race food during run.

Monday (6 days before)
1,500-2,000 Swim- include 15 drill strokes then 25 strokes at medium pace 30 seconds rest or easy swimming then repeat 4 times. Bike & Run- REST Tip- Practice treading water then fast starts. Water polo, head out of the water looking ahead because your visibility will be reduced in the Ironman swim as the water will be frothing due to thousand of arms and legs stroking and kicking.

Tuesday (5 days before)
Swim & Run - REST
Bike 45-60 minutes.
Tip- Make ride slower than normal for first and last third. Roll Ironman gear for 15 minutes middle section. Take a drink and food and start recovering on warm down on way home. Get to bed early.

Wednesday (4 days before)
Swim 2,000m include 5-8 minute at Ironman pace. Bike & Run-REST. Aim: Go into flight healthy. Get to bed early.

Thursday (3 days before)
Travel to Ironman. Aim: hydrate not just too much plain water. If possible 30-45 minute bike all in easy gears 90 revs per minute. Tip- do not go hungry. Have spare food for flight and transfer delays.

Friday (2 days)
Swim – 1,000m & Check out swim finish. Swim out 500m then swim back stopping and sighting building marquees etc above 7 feet high. Race day there will be thousands of spectators blocking out ground level features. This will help you can come back in the straightest line possible on Sunday. Bike- Rest- Run- Rest

TIPS- put your feet up. If you can sit rather than stand sit. If you can lie down rather than sit lay down. If you can power nap rather than lie down then power nap.

Saturday (1 day before)
Race Brief Bike check in. Ideally cycle to bike check in and run back. Total amount of training the day before including checking in.

Swim 500m- Drills, as this will help you save energy on race day. Your body will remember what to do from your last session.

Cycle-30 minutes with 4-8 ten-second efforts 95 revs per minute with 2 minutes recovery between each one.Run-25 minute including 3-5 strides for ten seconds at current half marathon fitness with 90 seconds recovery between.

Aim: Afternoon power nap finishing before 4 PM, to avoid problem getting to sleep later. Short sleep 20-60 minutes to help you feel less tired when getting up early next morning. Tip- Book restaurant earlier in the week and have finished last main meal by 6pm to fully digest it.

Sunday (Race day)
IRONMAN Race Day When you get a minute warning in the swim press your stop watch and be ready for the B… of the Bang!!
Race week tips.

Keep out of the sun otherwise you risk sun burnt (pain full in a wetsuit or any clothing that rubs or touches it, risk of dehydration and more importantly causes free radical damage which will limit your race day performance.

You will create enough radical release on race day, which can inhibit your ability to keep going.

You will be in the sun on race day for more hours than the amount recommended by skin experts.

Do not drink too much plain water as this can flush out minerals from your body.

Shave legs if you normally do? No later than Thursday, any cuts will heal themselves and allow skin to recover for race day. Maintain your blood volume and cardio vascular fitness by swimming harder while reducing cycling and running training time.