by the Defence Forces Triathlon Association’s Head Coach, Derek Nugent
Woohoo Race Week Has Landed!
Good day folks, and here we are on the verge of another Waterways Ireland TriAthlone, the 8th edition and I hope your all excited about swimming, biking and running through the streets of Athlone. I know we are excited to see you! This week is an important week for you and your training and its really important that you relax and prepare properly for the race this Saturday, as it is often in race week itself that you panic and make simple yet costly mistakes that will have a negative impact on how you get on.
So remember, “He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail…”
We’ve all put the much needed work in over these last eight weeks so relax, you are ready to race! This week’s focus is all about getting to the start line in Athlone as fresh and ready as we need to be and I’m also going to chat about some of the main points that you need to remember when it’s RACE WEEK, or, if you’ve been around a bit longer, the stuff you need to think about around race day. Think of it as a gentle reminder.
1. DON’T DO ANY “EXTRA” HARD TRAINING LAST MINUTE:
If its not on the program, then best not do it. More races get blown by this type of error than most that I can think of…You’re not really going to get any fitter at this stage so its actually better to relax, wind down and the fitness that’s been built over 8 weeks will shine through. Trust in your training. Relax.
2. DON’T TRY ANY NEW FUNKY RACE FOODS BEFORE OR DURING THE EVENT:
If you haven’t trained using gels or bars or certain types of energy drinks then race week (and in particular race day) are not the time to try these out. Trust me on this one implicitly. If you do make this error then its going to be quite a few visits to the event port-a-loos, and you will be making enough of those already!
3. DON’T TRY OUT BRAND NEW RUNNERS/SHORTS/VEST ETC:
You should use the clothing that you’ve trained in and gotten this far in…But certainly with the runners, don’t try out brand new shoes because they’ve not been broken in and you can end up paying quite dearly…
4. MAKE A PACK LIST AND PACK IT ON YOUR REST DAY!
Making lists always helps. Outside of a pie-chart, nothing gets me riled up for an event like a good old fashioned list The following should help towards getting your own list down pat, but its always different for everyone so by all means add to it …
- Race Belt (Or good old fashioned Safety Pins!)
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Nutrition (bars, pre-post)
- Flip flops
- FRace suit x 1 (this can be a trisuit, shorts + top, tech t, Giant Banana Suit for your charity etc!)
- Post race cool down clothes (Hawaii’n shirts are the norm)
- Watch/HRM (Chest strap if included)
- 2 x googles/li>
- 2 x Towels
- Baby oil / lube
- Bike Shoes (Tri)
- Nutritional aids
- Spare tube/tyre
- Co2 Cartridges
- Bike Multi tool
- Bike pump
- Chain lube
- Mini Elastics
- Racing Shoes
- Nutritional gels
- Running hat / visor
You will also need:
- A print off of your booking reference.
- Your One Day Licence or Triathlon Ireland ID.
- Some clothes for having some “Downtime” with your coach!
Make sure you also read and familiarise yourself with the RACE INFO PACK that your going to be sent out in the coming days. This will tell you when your wave start is, has some groovy maps and will answer all of your race related queries. Study it, it has the answers. Make sure you plan your travel to Athlone town well, road closures will affect the approach from the Old Galway rd (r446) and make sure to leave plenty of time to get down, get settled and check out the race site.
You can register on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, and when you get in make sure you take a look and see where your bike goes, and get a good look at where the Bike and Run out is. You should familiarise yourself with where the toilets are because you will need them a lot on race day…”nerves!” You must attend the briefing on race morning. Remember, this is all part of our sport and tradition, so enjoy them, and Relax.
In general, pace yourself. The sport of triathlon is not about the best swim, bike or run its really about the best economy of all 3. You all do the same course, so cherish it.
For the swim:
Baby oil up, or use some fancy other type but this will help get that wetsuit off in T1. Apply some Vaseline to your neck as your wetsuit will chafe. Make sure you’ve gotten your race number on a belt or safety pinned on front and rear to the the clothing your going to be racing in.
For the bike:
Wear you number to the rear. Helmet on and fastened any time your touching your bike. Have an energy drink on the bike ready for the race and make sure that your bike is in a gear that you can push easily from the start, as otherwise you risk a faceplant on the way out Don’t draft off other cyclists and watch how you go. make sure you turn at the correct turnaround (the Try and Sprint is at 10k, the olympic is at 20k so don’t get mixed up!) and spin lighter gears and stretch out before you dismount.
For the run:
Wear you number to the front. Relax on the run and it will start to flow for you. Hydrate as needed at the water stations. Ensure you do the correct number of laps. This is a big one that alot of our competitors make. You run out from the army barracks as far as the finish line, and then you count either 2 or 4 laps from that point…There’s a sign that even says that so if you have problems keep an eye out for it.
But most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself. If it hurts, then take the foot of the gas a smidgen and look up at the crowds and go “Hell yeah this rocks!” and if you feel good then go that little bit harder. And no matter what, keep an eye out for me because I’m going to be there throughout looking on as I’m part of the Organising Committee, and I expect “high 5′s” and your personal war stories for good measure too lol…
And sure if you can’t be good at it, then at least be “good looking at it” So its all the very best of luck and I look forward to meeting you all on Saturday and later that night too as we complete the other well know part of the Waterways Ireland TriAthlone, the dreaded post race party.
Week 8: Race week.
- Monday Rest
- Tuesday 30min Z1 swim
- Wednesday Bike 25mins Z1
- Thursday swim Rest
- Friday Swim 15 mins Z1 Bike 15 mins Z1
- Saturday (Race)
- Sunday Rest (Well deserved!)