Sub-1hr session: Race sharp

Pacing and transitioning between disciplines is key to racing – this workout will see you practice both

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Coach Julian Nagi outlines one of his favourite race-prep sessions for beginners, involving all three disciplines of swim, bike and run.

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If you’re a member of a gym that has a pool you could do all three disciplines back to back with limited rest by using the pool, gym bikes and treadmills.

If not, perform the swim part of the workout then head out on your bike as soon as possible afterwards. The more you can simulate race conditions, the better, but adapt it based on what you have access to.

For this workout you’ll need: wetsuit, tri-suit, bike (and turbo trainer), bike shoes, helmet, gloves, sunglasses, and run shoes.

Race sharp

Warm-up

4 x 50m on 20secs rest interval (RI).

Main session

Swim (pool or lake, ideally in wetsuit): 5 x 100m on 20sec RI at race pace, sighting every 6-8 strokes. Practise wetsuit removal.

Bike (or turbo): 25-30mins comfortable pace (approx 85-95rpm), stay relaxed through your hands, neck and shoulders.

Run: 10-15mins comfortable pace effort.

Cool-down

5mins easy walk then stretch.

Performance benefits

This session helps get you race sharp and gives your body a taste of what to expect on race day. It will also be a great test of your aerobic fitness and help move you on to that next level. Note, the key is to hold a comfortable, aerobic pace throughout (so you’re able to chat as you go).

Mental benefits

Psychologically this is a win-win session. By proving you’re prepared and testing your pacing, transitions, nutrition and equipment, you’ll receive a huge boost in confidence.

Physiological benefits

You learn something new from every brick session. You’ll learn to pace better, focus more and eliminate mistakes. It also helps prepare for how the effort of racing will feel.

Adapt for Ironman

In the final eight weeks before your ‘A race’, gradually increase the distances of the workout so you build up to swimming at least 3km, biking for 5hrs and running 1hr all at race pace.

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For lots more performance advice head to our Training section