Hi all, hope you are well.
In this blog, I’d like to talk about how your training plan can positively affect the outcome of your race come the day. The pointers may be simple, and this blog will be short because of this, but I think we have all fallen into the trap on not training sensibly for the races we are in. Firstly a couple of questions:
What are the race distances?
What is the surface and/or location of the 3 disciplines?
What is the terrain of the bike and run sections?
Race distances: This will dictate the duration and distances of your training. If your event is a sprint (400m swim; 20-25km cycle; 5km run), their is no point is going for 4 hour cycles or 2 hour runs. However, if you are training for a 1/2 Ironman or greater, your maximum training distances should bear this in mind. I would recommend covering at least 2/3 of the race distance at least a few times for each of the disciplines i.e. 1500m+ for the swim, 75km+ for the cycle and 15km+ for the run. Ideally you should have covered the race distances in training at least once though if time permits. I would also recommend, on one of the longer rides, getting off your bike and going for a run for a minimum of 5 minutes to get your body ready for the change. This does not negate the need for ‘Brick sessions’ which I’ll cover in a future blog.
Surface: If your races are pool based swims, then their is little requirement for you to train in open water (except for some variation and fun). Again, if your cycle and/or run sections are off-road, then you should have the correct equipment (off road running shoes or at least ones with decent grip if the route will be slippy and a mountain bike). You can obviously do a lot of your aerobic sessions on the road if you like but getting the technical practice off-road is priceless come race day.
Terrain: Flat, mountainous or hilly, whatever the terrain of the race is, you should be putting in the majority of your training on equivalent terrain. My 1/2 Ironman this year was in Antwerp, a very flat course. I therefore spent the majority of my long rides on flat terrain in order to try and recreate race conditions. Flat terrain races are generally much faster than hilly events but can put a lot of pressure on the body. This is because you will generally be on your tri-bars the majority of the time and with that, the strains that you experience in your lower back will be different from a race where you are either out of the saddle or sat up climbing.
That’s it for now, please, any questions, post a comment.