TRIATHLON : HOW SHOULD YOU TRAIN DURING THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE THE RACE ?

On Sunday, you will be on the start line! Don't panic, we will help you optimise your preparation so that you are brimming with confidence on the day of the race.

 

You have signed up for a triathlon. You have been following your training plan for several weeks: between the swimming, cycling and running, you have been mixing things up, alone or as part of a group… OK, fine, but now the event is just seven days away and everybody is telling you how important the final week is, how you need to fill up your energy reserves, rest, eat properly, drink, etc. So here is some advice for properly managing your pre-race routine and feel relaxed when you get to the bicycle park!

 

WHAT TYPE OF SESSION SHOULD YOU BE PLANNING TO DO ?

Most of the work has already been done. It can often be difficult to cope with this period because, as a triathlete, you often think that you are not ready enough. Your mind can think back to those sessions that did not go well, the sessions that you curtailed because you didn't have enough time and your thoughts keep returning to the same old question: have you done enough? This feeling of not having done enough can prompt you to make use of the last few days to seek some reassurance and catch up on your training at the risk of overdoing it!

 

In addition to these physical and psychological aspects, there is the physiological aspect. Indeed, the training you have done over the last few weeks has increased the level of endorphins (happy hormone) and increased the thresholds of dopamine in the body (pleasure and vigilance neurotransmitter and hormone) that create a physiological deficiency in the sportsman or woman and a need for the body to move and train. The body that is used to a certain routine wants to continue.

 

However you need to find the right compromise in order to make the most of this and be in full possession of your faculties on the day of the race. The final week must be a week of recovery. Naturally, the body cannot be inactive but the sessions that you plan to do must be short and not too intensive. This final week should be a period of fine tuning for the triathlete. It should be used to build on the tougher sessions of the previous weeks.

The scheduled sessions can also be used to reassure the triathlete that he is in the right place psychologically and reduce the level of stress as the event approaches. It is not uncommon to hear triathletes complain about various niggles during the final week! Triathletes are particularly aware of their bodies and more receptive to what is going on inside. They must therefore get the right balance. It is often said that it is better to train too little than too much. So, don't panic and do not overload your training programme or you run the risk of feeling tired when you get to the start line.

 

AN EXAMPLE OF A STANDARD WEEK

This is a typical week. Naturally, you need to adjust the training times according to the type of triathlon you have signed up for and your level of ability. However, for a "beginner", here is an example of a typical week for a triathlon that will be run in a week's time.

Please note that the longer the race format of the triathlon, the longer and less intense the sessions will be.

 

S triathlon race format

Tuesday: 1300 m swim (400 m freestyle warmup - 2x (100 m breaststroke - 50m backstroke - 100 m freestyle) - 4x50 m with 20 seconds of recovery - 200 m freestyle warm down).

Wednesday: 45 min cycle at a medium pace with several accelerations along the route.

Saturday: 15 min run with 10 gradually accelerations over 100 m.

 

M triathlon race format

Tuesday: 1600 m swim (400 m freestyle warmup - 3x (100 m breaststroke - 50m backstroke - 100 m freestyle) - 5x50 m with 20 seconds of recovery - 200 m freestyle warm down).

Wednesday : 1 hour cycle at an average pace involving 3 x 5 minutes at race pace.

Saturday: 20 minute run with 10 gradual accelerations over 100 m.

 

L triathlon race format

Tuesday: 1750 m swim (400 m freestyle warmup - 3x (100 m breaststroke - 50m backstroke - 100 m freestyle) - 6x50 m with 20 seconds of recovery - 300 m freestyle warm down).

Wednesday: 1 hour cycle at an average pace involving 4 x 5 minutes at race pace.

Saturday: 20 minute fundamental endurance run with 10 gradual accelerations over 100 m.

 

hydratation-entrainement

IMPORTANT POINTS : NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN : NUTRITION

During the final week, the aim is get your glycogen reserves to the optimum level. Very often, triathletes will opt for a dissociated or semi-dissociated (less strict) diet during the final week in order to achieve this. This involves reducing your intake of carbohydrates from D-6 to D-4 in order to lower your hepatic and muscular glycogen reserves and then do the opposite by increasing your intake of carbohydrates from D-3 to D-1. Some use maltodextrin during the three days prior to the event. I would recommend trying out this type of product beforehand in order to assess whether it suits you.

During the final three days, it is advisable to avoid fibre and take in complex carbs: rice, quinoa, etc.

In the morning, your breakfast should be the same as if you are going on a long distance outing or include an energy cake, which has interesting properties for managing your blood sugar levels.

Finally, you must not forget the following key element: drink properly throughout the final week.

 

SEVERAL ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS FOR THE WEEK RUNNING UP TO THE RACE

Get to sleep at set times during the final week. Sleep is a crucial factor in achieving success.

 

Don't hesitate to enjoy the benefits of a massage by massaging your legs: a search on the internet will give you advice on how to massage yourself. massage your legs using massage oil and focus on the muscles you will use during the race: calf muscles, quadriceps, hamstring and the veins that go up to the heart in order to drain them and encourage blood flow.

 

Prepare your equipment in advance. The triathlon is a sport that requires good organisation which can sometimes be a source of stress. So prepare your bag some time in advance to make sure you do not forget anything.

 

-    On the day before the race, give yourself some time to rest and visualise the race. Creating a mental picture of the transitions, for example, can be of benefit to sportsmen and women, particularly triathletes.

 

- Free up your mind by having a good time with your friends or family to let off some steam on the day before the race.

 

Last but not least, a final word of advice: clear your mind because you have done your best over the last few weeks and you have already achieved a lot in rising to the challenge of preparing for the race. So make the most of this race and, above all, enjoy yourself!

 

Chrystèle

 

 

photo conseiller

Chrystèle

 

Je pratique le triathlon depuis 10 ans. Après avoir couru sur les différents formats allant du XS au XXL, je privilégie désormais le format L. Les deux disciplines dans lesquelles je suis la plus à l'aise sont le cyclisme et la course à pied avec une prédilection pour la course. Je suis particulièrement adepte des épreuves offrant du dénivelé. J'aime le triathlon car c'est un sport complet qui réunit de nombreuses valeurs que je partage.

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