As race season ramps up, questions are posed by athletes about what and how much training should be done leading into race day. I might not be your coach and you are self-coached. However the most important part of your training program is leading up to the race. Athletes spend up to 3 months of dedicated training for a race only to have a substandard performance in the most important phase - the race! So here are three points that we use in preparing trisutto athletes for successful race days - 1) A week taper. 7 days Many start their taper in race week by backing off their training to near nothing, while changing their normal weekly routine. This is a big mistake. After 72 hours two things happen A/ We start to lose aerobic fitness B/ Our body starts to adapt to its new structure We have found that when adapting to any new stress, the lowest point of this adaptation happens around day 7. To be clear, rest is a new stress and the body has to adapt to it. After 3 days as the adaption starts to take place it then takes another 7 days to be at peak, depending on the individual. We look at days 10 through to 21 that we will be at our best. 2) Workload The taper should be connected to your individual time training and body type. The worst thing you can do is copy a program for tapering off a pro that is published online or in magazines. They might be coming off a 24+ hour training week with up to 3 workouts per day. If you are doing 10 hours to 18 hours, the same taper is unlikely to work for you.
3) The day before the race I see and hear from so many age group athletes who purposely take the day before the race as a rest day. This is a big no no for our group.
Why? Because in the race we can lose the feel in all three of the disciplines. How many times do I hear 'I just didn't feel the pedals', or 'My legs took a long time on the run to feel normal' or 'I couldn't get going on the swim till the last part'.
This to me is no coincidence. It is a process that was started by doing no activity the day before the race.
Conclusion Triathlon is a complicated sport. That's why we do it. If any one of the disciplines is below par our whole race performance pays the price. Triathlon is not a single sport discipline, as such each discipline needs attention to detail. I have no doubt that if you reflect on these points prior to your own race preparation, it will help your overall performance. Just the way I see it The doc