April 23, 2018
Do not panic train.
In the last month before your event your training program should include some specific session for race preparation but also a very important taper period. Remember that it’s not like an exam, you can’t put all the work in the night. Panic training can lead to burnout, entering the valley of fatigue or even injury.
Check your equipment.
No sooner than a month before race day layout all of your equipment that you need for your event. Check it is in good order and what you need for race day. Google or ask past competitors about likely conditions and what’s to be expected.
Test your nutrition strategy.
In the lead up to race day it is important to practice your nutrition strategy. We recommend that you eat every 10 minutes on the bike and follow this with liquid. It is important that food is consumed in small amounts and on a regular and consistent basis. It is important that this schedule is tried and tested in training as some runner will attest to the “Runners Trots” so don’t leave this one until race day or you could find yourself either running out of fuel or in the loo!
Practice your transitions.
Set our your kit at home in a suitable location and practice your transitions, swim to bike and bike to run. This will allow you time to change anything that you think might be delaying you in transition. Take this routine to the race day location and set it out and don’t change it for race day. Stick with what you have practised. Make sure you walk the transition’s swim to bike and bike to run so you are familiar with your route.
Know the course.
Google the course, use google street view, talk to previous competitors that you know or a friend knows. Ask some of your fellow club members if they have competed and what they recommend to look out for on the course. There could be a narrow start to a swim, dangerous bends on the bike route or even a steep hill or piece of cross-country on the run that can catch a competitor out. If you live close then pop over and do a ‘recce’ so you don’t find yourself knocking on a strangers house looking for directions.
Get a race diary or add to your training diary a list of things you did well and a list of things you did poorly. In the beginning the poorly list will be long and the well list short but over time as you read back over you notes this will change and hopefully the poorly list will have very little on it as your performances and times improve. Don’t forget to read these notes going into your next race.
About the author – Jonathan Gibson, The Athlete Clinic
Jonathan Gibson is a High Performance Coach guiding athletes across many sports to their chosen goals. He coaches on the Domestic, European & World circuits. As an athlete himself, he has set national records & won medals as an elite national/international swimmer & cyclist. Jonathan has been involved in High Performance sport for over 35 years as an athlete & coach. He set up and manages the under 23 Irish Talented Athlete Programme ( ITAP) and guided the Galway Baybes Female Cycling Team to their National Record in the 2,212km Race Around Ireland in 2017. He believes in the KISS method, “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. He operates from the Athlete Clinic in Galway