With only a few weeks left before the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Triathlon Event, the time has come to fine tune your training and prep yourself for a fine race performance on Feb 11th.
Realistically if you have done a good amount of training thus far, you will most probably not get much fitter in terms of base fitness. What you will need to do now is fine tune your speed workouts so you head into the race in A GRADE shape. Even though the Discovery TRI Event offers both Sprint and Olympic Distance Racing, the racing is pretty fast, intense and furious from the get-go so it’s important that you work on your speed heading into this event.
The fact that the event is draft legal also plays an important part especially in your cycle training. There are a few twists and turns on the Sea Point and Waterfront cycle route which lends itself to having to do some explosive sprints out the corners and particularly at the 180 degree turn at the Sea Point swimming pools.
- You need to ensure you add in a good warm-up before you start on speed work
- 400m swim/200m kick/400m pull-buoys will suffice for this purpose
- Add in some speed work over 25m and 50m/100m repeats – with relatively short rest periods in between – this will whip you into swim shape quickly
- A 400m time trial is probably one of the best forms of training you can do prepping for the TRI in CT. do this on a weekly basis and track your performance over each week. The 400m is the shortest bit toughest distance in the swim pool that will certainly up your speed game in prep for race day
- You also need to simulate a fast start (which happens with the harbour swim) then settle into a more sustainable pace that you can maintain for the rest of the 500m or 750m swim. So start fast in your swim (ie 500m swim – 1st 100m is hard – then settle down for the next 400m at moderate intensity)
- A dryland warm-up routine is also advised as pre-race prep – this is something you can pre-practice and will involve swinging the shoulders for example and jumps to ensure heart rate is ready to go when the gun goes off. This event does not allow a swim warm-up before and besides, the water is so cold, you don’t want to warm-up in the water pre-race start. This is the only way to go into the start semi prepped for a good performance in the water
- Shorter sharper intervals should flood your swim program in the last few weeks with a good pre and post warm-up and cool down routine to add in the distance.
- Program distances should hover between 1.5km for the sprint triathletes and 3km for the Olympic Distance guys and girls
- Long rides can be kept for the weekend
- Mid-week indoor sessions (i.e. wattbike) will include a lot of short 20-30 secs burst/sprints with minimal recovery (40 secs) in between to simulate the hard-fast-slower periods you will experience during this draft legal 20 or 40km bike ride
- Practicing your cornering and 180 degree turns is also a great idea
- Pack riding if at all possible is another MUST DO. Most triathletes are used to non-draft races where there is space between them and the next cyclist. This pace is also more sutainable while the pack riding requires heart rate to spike at various points around the swim course. At the Discovery CT TRI event, rider packs are big and the racing tight-knit so make sure you are comfortable riding with others in close proximity to each other
- Make sure you also only train on your road bike – some athletes have 2 bikes – tri and road – for this event, its only road bikes that are allowed and they often have different angles from a tri bike and require a period of “getting used to again” with the different road bike position and angles.
- Maybe a short cycle race will be an ideal pre-race event that you can go and do before heading to CT for the Discovery TRI event
- Add in at least 2 x speed sessions per week as you head towards CT in FEB
- 1 x track session (which can also be done on the road) where you focus on your speed over 1km intervals for example – what is important here is to ensure that you “know” what pace you are running and are comfortable that you can maintain that pace over the 5km or 10km run discipline distances. Minimal rest between the 1km intervals will do the trick (15-20 secs) for the fitter guys and girls and then (30-60 secs) for the ones who require more recovery time
- A weekly time trial over 4km or 8km is an ideal pre-race pre run session that works a dream
- The Discovery World Cup Triathlon is also held over a very flat run course which works the calves a lot more than say the quads do on a hilly route for example. Do some flat run efforts so as to ensure you are primed for your best run performance on the race day.
- Don’t forget the all-important long run on the weekends that is the glue (between 10km for sprint triathletes and 15km-18km for Olympic Distance Triathletes) to keep your run training nicely on track