Training countdown – 14 days to go!
Where did the time go? Maybe you feel like time stood still a few months ago while the race was far off. All of a sudden it’s speeded up and it feels there’s so little time left. What do in these last two weeks that have suddenly loomed up?
Well, first of all take a moment to let yourself be excited rather than panicked by the coming race. You’ll be part of the very first Eastbourne Tri so are already well on the way to claiming your bragging rights.
Taking a few moments to think about what you’re most looking forward to about the coming event can be a great help. If it’s your first triathlon maybe it’ll be just the thought of completing and being able to say “I did it”. Or perhaps you can picture yourself swimming or paddle boarding against the extraordinary backdrop of the Seven Sisters; powering your way on your bike over the ups and downs and whooshing turns of the awesome cycle route; or striding along the seafront. Whatever it is, just give yourself a few moments of positive daydreaming to imagine it. This kind of so-called visualisation can really help get you in a frame of mind where you take yourself to the event, feeling excited and ready to enjoy it rather than having the event come to you and leaving you feeling overwhelmed by it.
In terms of training, there are about as many views on tapering as there are coaches. My view, for what it’s worth alongside all the things you can read about fancy formulas and “the right way to…” is that there is no right way as it all depends on each person, what they’ve been doing, how important the race is and so on – but there are certainly some things that are unlikely to help. Top of this list is going out and hammering yourself on a big training session as if to prove you can cover the distance or hit a particular target time.
If you’ve already done some racing and Eastbourne is part of a sequence of races you’ve got lined up, I’d start by making sure you have recovered from the last event. Book in a sports massage or see your physio. Be disciplined about stretching and using the foam roller that’s hidden at the back of a dark cupboard. Once you’re feeling ready for it, I’d recommend no more than three ‘key’ training sessions in this coming penultimate week, with the others pretty much all light recovery rides and runs and technique focused swims. For the key sessions I’d suggest high intensity mini-blocks with short rests within the mini-blocks and generous recoveries between so as to hone race sharpness.
If this is your first triathlon, you’re unlikely to add much to your fitness around ten days out from the event – and as above the big risk is to tire yourself out before just at the point where you want to be feeling fresh and confident. More valuable in this penultimate week I suggest is trying out any equipment you may have recently acquired for your first time race: get used to the feel of the wetsuit and settle on the goggles you’ll wear; check the bike over and book in the service you’ve been telling yourself you really should have done a while back; try out those fancy race shoes you may have splashed out on.
You’ll find more about race preparation on the zigzagalive.com site as well as some inspirational stories. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like further advice. And hope your preparations go well.