Race Week Training

Well my next race and next head on challenge with Ayesha is fast approaching, the MSC Toronto Island Triathlon, this Sunday. Well I lost the battle of Bracebridge, photo above, but I’m grouping for the battle of Toronto Island. I know it is sad that each of my events amounts to a challenge against my girlfriend, sad but true. This sad fact aside, I wanted to talk a bit about training the week before your next race. Before a race even a B race (a race that is not important to you or a key race) I usually reduce the volume by about 1/2 and lower the intensity of training the week before the race. As I suspect is the case for most of you, I don’t race that often and like to have good performance at all my races. This is a great training time as you can slack off and use the excuse that you have a race coming up.

The week before the race I’ll cut down on any speed work and do shorter and fewer intervals than I’d otherwise do. For example for my number interval run, I usually like to do 4-6x600m intervals with long rest as opposed to my normal interval workout which would be about twice as long. This prevents me from causing extensive muscle damage before the race. I also avoid weights, again I want to minimize muscle damage as I’ll be doing plenty of that during my race. This goes for the bike as well, I’ll significantly reduce any interval work I would do to about half and reduce the intensity. For the swim I still like to get in the water at least 3 times the week before a race to keep my feel for the water.

2 days before I like to take the day off and get a good nights sleep (remember research indicates the sleep 2 nights before is most important).

1 day before I like to do a race simulation, not a full race, but very short swim, bike, swim to simulate the feel of the race. I swim for about 20 minutes, bike for 20 mins, and run for 15 mins, with some 30s race pace intervals interspersed in each. This serves to activate my muscles and reminds me of what if feels like to race at race pace. The night before go to bed early and get up early and get to help relieve your race day anxiety.

Have fun at your next race and good luck.

Mike M.


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