Heading into the final days and weeks before your next Olympic-distance triathlon? It’s time to start the taper.
Here, we outline three key swim, bike and run sessions for you to include as your race nears to help you prepare for the big day.
Swim: Settling into your rhythm
Coach: Kate Offord, Smiling Tri Coach
Benefit: This swim ensures that you can retain some ‘feel’ for the open water, while providing much-needed sharpening to deal with the adrenaline of race day.
Easy 400m to acclimatise to the temperature. Focus on smooth breathing (inhalation and exhalation) and building a rhythm.
2 x 400m laps (or smaller loops) working on starting hard and being able to recover. Swim 25 strokes hard (at 8/10 RPE – rate of perceived exertion, 10 is maximum) to replicate the adrenaline at the start of a race. Add a further 2 x 15-20 stroke surges at 8/10 RPE in each 400m lap. Practise settling back into your rhythm for the remainder of the lap. Rest for 30secs between laps.
Simply practise exiting the water smoothly and taking your wetsuit off without assistance.
Bike: Pre-race intervals
Coach: Mel Hayes, Smiling Tri Coach
Benefit: The aim is to spin out your legs and put a little intensity into them without creating fatigue. This will prime them for action. Do this session the day before the race.
10mins easy @ 70% FTP (functional threshold power, i.e. the highest average power you can sustain for approximately 1hr, measured in watts)
Interval of 5mins @ 105% FTP; recovery of 10mins @ 60% FTP; interval of 1min @ 150% FTP.
5mins @ 40% FTP
Run: Pre-race strides
Coach: Joe Friel
Benefit: This is simply a relaxed run with some easy speed to sharpen the legs.
10mins easy walk or run in Zone 1.
30min easy run (Z2) followed by 6 x 10-15sec ‘strides’. For the strides, start steady and pick up your pace to a near maximum speed in the last 4-5secs then slow down gradually. Allow yourself to recover and go again. Remember to relax and ensure you’re not holding any tension in the shoulders. We’re aiming for easy speed!
Walk until your breathing is back to normal.