Age-Group Tips for World Champs

by ITU Admin on 18 May, 2008 12:00

With the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships less than three weeks away, the event organizing committee would like to help you prepare with these training tips specifically for the world championships.  Well start with the Age-Group run course, which takes athletes through Vancouvers iconic Stanley Park and finishes at picturesque English Bay.

Age-Group Run Tips for Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships
One of the best triathlon running coaches in the business, Bobby McGee once said, when you get off the bike you are a 10km runner!  Triathletes need to think and plan like a 10km runner in terms of preparation, training, race pacing, form, technique and race nutrition.

Here are a few training and racing tips to help you do just that:
- Pace the swim and cycle legs of your race in Vancouver so you still have the energy reserves to have a great 10km run. Emptying your tank on the first two legs will make the run difficult to control and ruin your potentially stellar race.

- Make sure you hydrate well and take in enough calories on the bike portion of the race so you are well fuelled for the run. It may be chilly in Vancouver on race day and hydration and calorie intake will be even more essential to ensure a good performance. Remember that it is easier to take in enough calories on the bike than during the run!

- Have a well established routine in T2 so you can head out onto the run smoothly and get into your run stride as swiftly as possible.

- Control your pace out of the transition. Too many 10km personal best times are blown out of the window in the first 1km to 2km of the run.  During the lead up days to the event make sure you have marked out the 1km and 2km marks on the course so you can check your pace at the start of the race and adjust according to your current best 10km pace.

- In order to do this you need to know the pace you can hold throughout the run. Paces are established through training feedback from regular test sets planned at appropriate times through your training programme.

- Prepare well in your training leading up to the event to finish the race strongly and pace your race so you can run the second half of the race faster than the first half. It is exhilarating to pass people near the end of the race and negative splitting (running the second half faster than the first half) can often make this a reality.

- It is essential to know the course well! Take the time to go to the race website and check all the maps and elevation charts for the race.  When you arrive in Vancouver get down to the race site as soon as possible and make friends with it!

- Vancouver has 3-lap run course for Age-Group Triathletes. There is a 400m (approximately) gradual climb and then a downhill on all three laps of the run. This gentle climb and descent is on double track path within beautiful Stanley Park. Prepare for this by including hill runs in your training and preparation.

- The first lap of the run is 2.7km and the second and third laps are each 3.6km. Plan your training around this and be creative. For example the first lap of 2.7km can also be seen as 1 set of 3 x 900m repeats and the second and third laps as 2 sets of 4 x 900m repeats.  Have fun building your training sets around this kind of breakdown and determine your own paces and prepare for your best 10km run!

With a carefully developed training plan and a well thought out racing strategy based on your most current training information, you can run your best 10km off the bike. Train with a plan and race smart!

Libby Burrell is the current Director of ITU Sport Development and a former staff member of the 2000 Olympic Triathlon Team for South Africa and 2004 Olympic Triathlon Team for the United States.

Click here for more tips, course maps and Vancouver training guide at the official website of the world championships

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