Race Pace Training

Racing is great fun whether you are racing yourself, out to beat a mate or win the race. Racing is demanding and you need to learn how your body is coping. This month Ironmate will provide you with some great information on how to keep racing to the end of the season by taking a bit more care of yourself - obviously along with a few speed tips!

1. Race pace training
2. Repair & Recovery
3. Ironmate Tips for the summer

In every session include at least 5-10 minutes of race pace training about half way through the session. The more you do this the easier it will feel on race day. Aim for at least 50% of your race distance as intervals.

I.e. 1500m swim takes 30 minutes, which is 2 minutes hundred aim to do intervals at this pace - 1 length 25m taking 30 seconds; 2 lengths 60 seconds; 3 lengths 90 seconds; 4 lengths and 100m in 2 minutes.

Take at least half the time of the interval as recovery before repeating.

Swim fast then stop and incorporate drills for good form.

I.e. 25 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes (average 20 mph) - Aim for 1-mile intervals cycling at 20mph. Use your lightweight bike or racing wheels to feel fast and get use to going faster.

I.e. 7-minute miles - Aim for 105 seconds per 400 - metre lap of a running track. Again use your lightweight running shoes plus if practical run off road and do some tempo running.

During the race season, repair is very important when you are generally pushing yourself to the absolute limit. Use these helpful recovery tips:

1.Cold baths - these work by reducing the blood flow, with new blood being flushed back into the area once the cold has been removed. Good to reduce pain. The temperature generally recommended is between 5-15 degrees C.

2.Warm down - beneficial by helping with waste clearance from the worked hard muscles Slowing the effort gradually reduces the blood flow slowly and helps you cool down. Too many warm down too hard /fast - this will be your slowest pace.

3. Massage to increase blood flow loosen tight muscles and identify any problems such as knots or imbalances. Helps improve removal of lactic acid without forceful movements of the muscles.

4.Nutrition good wholesome foods for recovery and repair including hydration. The important time window is the 40 minutes immediately following exercise, use carbohydrate and protein energy drinks in a ratio of 4:1. These are much easier to absorb than solid foods.

5.Water - Swimming is a good form recovery it helps remove soreness and waste, little impact keeps you cool. Remember that you can still dehydrate so drink regularly even during an easy swim session.

6. Sleep is very important. Make sure you are getting minimum 7hours each night and top this up at weekends with naps 7. Lying down and reading also help with the recovery process. Do as the professional cyclist - if can sit, sit; if you can lie down, lie down.

When the temperatures are warmer remember to drink regularly have a drink wherever you go. Ongoing hot days can eventually lead to dehydration, as you do not replace fully your daily water requirements.

By your bed at night if you get thirsty you can have a sip then fall straight back to sleep. In the car easy accessible to remind you to drink. By your PC when on the computer.

You are what you wear, if you wear light colours this can reflect the sun, but some research has shown that darker colours because the dye absorbs more colour and can reduce the suns rays from penetrating.

Just feel the difference of the temperature from black and white items exposed in the sun. Sun protection lotions are effective if you use them correctly from the manufacturers recommendations.

Sunglasses that have a UVA filter are the best; the bigger they are the more they protect you from the sun dust and flying objects.

Wet clothes can keep you cool, water on exposed skin evaporates much quicker. Wet cloths can allow for the suns rays to penetrate much easier so you need to decide what is best for you.Any form of suntan is skin damage and dehydration and skin cancers have doubled in the UK.

On hot days Ironmate and most experts agree that 750 - 1 litre per hour of fluid replacement with carbohydrate is recommended.

You will now find by having an inadequate amount of water, you have wasted 3-4 days of quality training. This is not due to the effort but because you allowed yourself to become dehydrated.

Think of it like not watering a plant - it wilts badly; despite watering it doesn’t suddenly pick up! People die from not enough water rather than training in hot climates.

You did not get any training benefit from this session, as your dehydration has forced a long recovery. Plus the fatigue you experienced on the subsequent days meant you were unable to continue with any quality training, making this a wasted session.

You must maintain consistency and learn to recognise your own - fine line - between being tired and exhausted. Each month I cannot over emphasise how important good hydration is.