June 16, 2017
The week before your race the temptation might be to rest completely. DON’T! In order for your body to perform at its peak for race day you should reduce your training volume but still maintain intensity and frequency. Andrea Whitcombe, former elite triathlete, ITU winner, Olympian and senior coach with the leading triathlon coaching company thetrilife.com shares some advice.
You can still do the same number of sessions but make them shorter and lengthen the recoveries in between repetitions. It’s important to maintain intensity during sessions to remind your body what it is like to train at a fast pace.
This period of easing down before a race is often called a ‘taper’. Ideally you should start tapering between 7-14 days before your race depending on your race distance. If training for a very long event you may need a longer taper.
Reduce the length of each session over this period so that your final sessions are up to 50% less. For example, if you usually run twice a week for 40 minutes, cut each run by 5 minutes a time so that the final run before race day will be 20 minutes. Follow this pattern with all 3 disciplines even if it means that some of your sessions will end up very short. I recommend having a complete rest day 2 days before your race instead of the day before. Head out for a very short bike and/or run and include some 10-15 second accelerations the day before your race. This is also the perfect opportunity to check your race equipment.
Don’t fret that fitness is being lost or feel guilty about training less. Use your taper as a good time to catch up with friends instead of catching up on missed training. Get some extra sleep, hydrate and relax.
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