World Champs Tips: Race Week

by ITU Admin on 22 May, 2008 12:00

Age-Group Tips: Race Week Stategies

With the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships two weeks away, the event organizing committee would like to help you prepare with these training tips specifically for the world championships. Today we’ll look at some race week strategies that may help you reach your peak.

More races are won or lost in the seven days before the race than any other time. Pre-race mental and physical strategies will put you at the starting line in control, focused and in race ready mode. Vancouver is a World Championship race and most all of you are already veterans of race week. Stick to what has made you successful in the past. Below are a few mental, physical and nutritional strategies as reminders.

Mental strategies for race week
- Stay focused on you! Eliminate and reduce the effects of distractions on pre-race preparations. Remain focused on the race and internal physical needs
- This is your time. The first thoughts you recognize in a day are critical for setting the days tone. Begin every day of race week by telling yourself, I feel great, Its going to be my day, My sleep restored my power, and I am ready to perform to my full potential as a triathlete!
- Be your own Hero! Whether the world knows you as a great triathlete is not as important as the fact that - you know you are. So, be your own hero and smile because you are about to put it all on the line with the race of your life
- Mental strength can be your greatest power. Even if you feel not completely physically prepared know that your mental strength can get you through. Under-trained is always better than over-trained
- Visualize the race physical feelings and race course. Be as specific as possible when creating your mental images of the swim, bike and run physiological responses and the course

Nutrition and equipment strategies
- Take as much of your race week food with you rather than look for it prior to the race
- Bring all necessary gels and powders that you will use on race week and race morning.  Avoid high fiber foods and bars on race day
- Use a tested nutritional plan so there are no intestinal surprises during race week. Be very cautious of carbo dinners the night before the race
- Always take responsibility for your equipment needs and condition.  Check and recheck all your equipment
- NEVER use any new untested equipment on race day.

Travel troubles
- Travel will always be stressful. The best tactics will be to plan, check, re-check, and be as organized as possible.
- Expect and allow adequate time for unforeseen delays on race week.
- On Race morning have an alternate route or different mode of transportation in case of road closures.

Physical preparation
- Race week is about letting your body absorb and recover from the overload of training stresses.  Eat well and rest.
- Err on the side of doing too little rather than too much race week. Dont try and make up for lost training. You are ready!
- You must keep the training time low but maintain some race specific intensity work-outs in each sport on race week. Include sixty- to ninety-second race effort repetitions during race week in all the disciplines to maintain your race sharpness and peak form.
- Be careful about taking days completely off. Your body is used to moving on a consistent basis and often does not like doing nothing. Active rest is best.
- Ride, run and swim on the specific race course. Get in the water, know the bike course and run the last few miles to the finish line.

Race week is your time. Stay focused on you. Check your equipment. Mentally be prepared for the what ifs.  This is your time, your race. Be safe and go hard!

Alan Ley
ITU Sport Development

Before coming to ITU as Sport Development Manager, Alan Ley was Coaching Education Manager for USA Triathlon. Alan was trained at the USOC Coaching College, certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and American Council of Exercise and is currently a Level 3 Elite Triathlon Coach. He holds degrees in exercise science and hospital administration.

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

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