Race Details & How to Prepare for Race Week!

As you approach race day, you should remember to prepare properly the week before and the day before to ensure you at optimal condition.  Here are some event details and preparation tips, as you get closer to race day:

Event Details

  • Time: 7:30 AM
  • Date: Saturday, Aprill 21, 2012
  • Place: KOA Campground – Mt. Pleasant, SC
  • Sprint Tri Distance: 500 meter Swim,20 km Bike,5 km Run 

How To Prepare the Week Before 

Training

The week before your big race, you will want to reduce the amount of training time and intensity to preserve your stamina for race day.  Don’t focus on long, drawn out training sessions, and make sure you take a rest day 2 days before, and the day before do something to get your heart race up and keep your legs loose.

Rest

Make sure you focus on getting enough quality sleep over the course of the week.  You may struggle the night before, so get enough rest throughout the week leading up to race day so you are ready!

Nutrition

Don’t skip meals and make sure you take in quality carbs and enough water.  You should be well hydrated throughout the week, and eat well so that your training goes well and as planned during the week before.

Finally, do something to get you calm and motivated.   Make sure you do something that boosts your confidence and gets you excited about race day!

Race Day & the Day Before

On race day, make sure to get there early and get organized.  This will help bring you peace and confidence for the race itself.  Make sure you stay warm and loose in  the short time ahead of the race

On the day before and leading up to the start of the race, make sure you take in enough complex carbohydrates and water to get you through the race.  The day before you should have everything organized and packed, ready to go, so race day is a breeze when it comes to setup.   Finally, get excited and enjoy yourself!

 

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Born To RUN…Quick Tips for the Running Portion of Your Tri!

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

 Christopher McDougall, Born To Run:  A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Here are Some Quick Tips for the Run Discipline of Your Triathlon! 

Spend time working on your running mechanics and form.  This can be something that is overlooked, but it can truly make a large difference on race day and how you are able perform.  Have your posture and running stance assessed by a trainer or expert and work to iron out any problems in your approach.

Learn how to develop the right pace.  Your pace is critical, and you will want to know how to maintain it in order to perform on race day.  Also, you should remember to train for multiple disciplines at one time to make sure you can get through all of the sports

Develop a strength-training regimen as a part of your workout.  Your legs will be used not only during the run but in the other sports as well and you should learn how to do all sports in a way to conserves strength and stamina but maximizes performance.  Use strength training to build your muscular endurance so that you maintain throughout all of the sports.

Get the right equipment!  As with the other sports, you should make sure you have the right equipment that works for you.  Consult an expert to learn what gear you need, what are the best shoes to use. Remember to consider transitions as well.  Consider laces that are easy to tie and untie, and make sure your shoes come well recommended.

We hope this information has been helpful and informative.  Make sure you stay tuned for the next blogs where we will cover training for the run and the bike!  Most important, it is NOT too late to register to volunteer or participate as an athlete! Just go to www.trycharleston.org.

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Swim, BIKE, Run: How to Prepare for the Bike Portion of Your Triathlon

One of the main reasons that triathlons are tough is that they require you to perform in three different sports.  Unlike other sporting events where you are required to focus on one athletic sport or activity, triathlons force you to do well in three different types!  You should cater your training schedule to build your endurance in all areas and learn how to properly transition from one sport to the next.  How should you be training for the bike portion of your triathlon?  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

What Makes Biking Different From the Other Sports?

For one, biking requires the most equipment and to bike well you need to learn how to develop the right techniques to leverage your equipment for success.  You should give extra time and consideration to your bike training, so you feel comfortable in the saddle and are ready for race day.

Make sure you know what type of equipment you need to purchase or use for training.  You should understand the differences between bikes and consult an experienced triathlon participant to ensure you make the right decision.  If you are just starting out, you should consider purchasing a basic bike to save some dollars.  However, you can  also choose to purchase a triathlon-specific bike or more expensive high performing models depending on how ready you feel to make the investment.

Tips for Bike Training!

Give yourself the right amount of time in your training schedule to build your confidence on the bike.  The bike portion of the sprint triathlon is 20 kilometers or approximately 12 miles, so you will want to keep this in mind for your training schedule and build up your stamina in a methodical way.  Much of your ability to perform well on race day will come from confidence through practice, give yourself enough time biking in similar conditions to what you will experience on race day, so it just feels like another day in the park.

Do Brick Training!  (Training for two disciplines in the same workout)

Here is a great article on brick training and the importance of it for your regimen:

Bricks are a very important part of triathlon (and duathlon) training and they are sometimes overlooked.  Bricks refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race (I am sure you knew this). Usually when people talk about bricks they refer to a bike/run workout, but bricks could also refer to a swim/bike workout or to a run/bike workout (if you are training for a duathlon). These last two are often overlooked but still important to fit here and there in your training plan.

About a swim/bike brick: while you are swimming you will want to use your legs as little as possible or else you may have a hard time when you get on your bike before you start feeling comfortable. A swim/bike workout that simulates race conditions will help you minimize this problem. A couple of suggestions are to try and use your legs more (that is to kick more) during he last 50-100 yards of your swim to get more blood flowing to them. Also, start your bike portion using an easier gear than the one you plan on using during the main part of the race. This will give your legs a chance to get used to the new sport and accumulate less lactic acid than they would if you started from the beginning with a tough gear. 

As an example, a useful swim/bike brick can be:

3 x (500 yards swim + 5 mile bike). I believe this is more useful and time efficient than doing a 1500 yards swim followed by a 15 miles bike, because you will switch sports 6 times instead of only once.

Even more important are bike/run bricks, mainly because the transition between bike and run is the toughest of the two during a triathlon. Most people’s recount of their brick workouts consist of a medium/long bike ride followed by a medium run. Although I do perform these kind of bricks, my recommendations are a sequence of short/medium rides alternated with a series of short run.

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SWIM, Bike, Run: How to Jumpstart Your Swim Training

When you set out to train for your triathlon, you will want to make sure you give each sport the attention necessary to ensure you perform at your best on race day.  Have you developed a solid training program for the swimming portion of the race?   How should you train for the swimming portion of the triathlon?

When you make your decision to compete in a triathlon, even though you may be in overall great shape or be a strong runner, you may have to work on your swimming.  How the body works together in the water as you swim is fundamentally different from the other two sports, and it may require additional time and effort to get where you want to be.  Here are some tips to help you along the way, as you carve out and execute your training program:

Start By Focusing on the Fundamentals

When you are just starting or just getting back into swimming, you should start your training regimen by focusing on the fundamentals.  This means focus on breathing and muscle memory in relation to the strokes.  When you compete in a triathlon, the swimming portion usually is in open water as it will be for TryCharleston, as you swim through a lake in Mount Pleasant.  This means there are no lanes and you will be swimming around other competitors.  Make sure you are used to the water and well adapted to ensure you remain calm and consistent on race day.   Perform a variety of exercises and make sure you try different environments to get comfortable regardless of the conditions.

Set Goals for the Swim Training

When you get started on swim training, it is a great idea to set target goals for not just speed, but breathing, stroke quality and efficiency.  When it comes to the swim portion you will definitely want to be confident and comfortable with your ability on race day, as you will be swimming in close proximity to other people.  It can be nerve racking, but if you have developed a confidence through your training regimen, it is much easier to perform under pressure.  Set goals and measure your progress to make sure you are ready for race day!

Develop Your Core

Having the right balance and posture are important in the water as they contribute to the overall efficiency of your swimming stroke.  Remember to develop a strong core and hips so that you maintain the right balance on race day.  Remember to include abdominal and hip exercises into your training!

Focus on Sprints & Endurance

As you build your regimen and execute your training, make sure you incorporate both short distance sprint training and long distance endurance training into your swim schedule.  It will pay off in the long run!

We hope this information has been helpful and informative.  Make sure you stay tuned for the next blogs where we will cover training for the run and the bike!  Most important, it is NOT too late to register to volunteer or participate as an athlete! Just go to www.trycharleston.org.

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Quick Tips for Transitions

Have you made time in your training schedule to plan and prepare for transitions?  If you are in the middle of training, or even just starting out, make sure you develop a plan of action to train for the transitions that occur within the triathlon race.  This is an important part of the race, and if you train well, it can truly make a difference in how you perform on race day!  Here are some tips to help you out:

First, you need to realize that the time you take during your transitions can truly make or break your ability to finish at a time you are aiming for.  You can basically lose valuable time during these transitional stages if you don’t move quickly.  Here are some tips to help you accomplish the transition phase a little faster:

Build in time to your training schedule to practice transitions

When it comes to training for your triathlon, remember that you build a regimen or schedule.  You should incorporate transitions into your training regiment to make sure you are optimal at all faces of the race.  If you forget to train or practice transitions, you will likely not perform as well on race day due to heightened levels of excitement or nervousness.  By practicing, it won’t be a new experience on race day, and you will have a system to move through.

Develop your own system for transitions and test them

After you have decided to train for your transitions, and built them into your schedule, you should block a way some time to develop your own “transitional method.”  You can try different techniques of transitioning and time yourself so you know what works best for you, and then you can go by it on race day.

Consider others when you setup for transitions

When you setup your transition space, make sure you create enough space for you to work efficiently and organize in a way that it will be unlikely others will interfere with your space

Also, remember to focus on the little details.

The little details in your race will give you both confidence and an edge.  In this case, the details you should focus on are your gear and how it can help you save time on race day.  Make sure you do your due diligence in regards to the gear you purchase and remember to see how it will affect your transitions.  This means looking into things like shoelaces to see how you can save time.  Find what works best for you in terms of comfort, performance, and time.

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Remember to Plan Your Meals & Carb Up!

No matter your training regimen or level of ability, it is always important to plan out your meals and nutrition.  It can make a big difference in your energy during your training and your overall performance on race day.  Where do you start, and what do you need to know?  Most importantly, you need to start or center your plan on 3 elements:  complex/good carbohydrates lean sources of protein, and limited fat content.

When it comes to planning out your daily dietary intake, and what types of food you need to consume, remember that there is no one size fits all solution.  You need to find what works best for you, but you can still follow some guidelines.   You can use meal planners and software to help you manage your daily intake and your progress over time.  There are many solutions available, and if you are interested in a management system, you can try LiveStrong’s My Plate system.

Remember to eat well before you execute your training.  Usually it is best to eat 1 to 3 hours before you commence your workout.  Fruit is always a great option if you are looking to consume something within 30 to 45 minutes prior to a workout.  For those in the midst of really long training sessions, it is a good idea to keep foods and supplements on hand to make sure your blood sugar remains steady and to give you the energy to complete your session.  For example, you can look into bars and gels, bananas, and bagels with peanut butter to supplement your training.  Do your research, and try different foods and supplements to see what works best for you and your training schedule.

After an intense training session or after the big race, it is still important to fuel your body with the right foods to optimize the time you spent working out.  After your training sessions or following the race, you will want to eat a balanced meal to promote recovery.  This includes a well-balanced mix of good carbohydrates, lean proteins, and any recovery supplements, and remember to consume enough calories.  Also, do not forget to drink enough water, which is usually 2 to 3 liters a day depending on your workouts and their intensity levels.

Make sure you take time to properly prepare for the competition by planning out your meals.  We hope this information has been helpful and informative.   Most important, it is NOT too late to register to volunteer or participate as an athlete! Just go to http://trycharleston.org/registration.html.

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Tips for First-Time Triathletes

Training for a triathlon or sprint triathlon should not be taken lightly.  It is a great experience, and truly rewarding, but you should take the proper amount of time to prepare before you commit.  A full triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, and a half triathlon consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.  Here is a brief list of things to consider for you first timers.

Start with a Schedule

When you are just beginning to consider competing in a sprint triathlon, you should create a schedule to map out your time to train for the various elements of the competition.  You should select certain days of the week to train for each individual portion of the competition.  It’s best to devote 2 days a week for each sport.

Take Swimming Classes

Your swimming technique can take you a long way in a race of this length.  There are plenty of organizations and opportunities in Charleston to work on your strokes and improve not only your form but boost your confidence.

Plan your Diet

When you are competing in a race of endurance, and training for one, you will want to plan your meals as best as possible to ensure your body has the fuel necessary to compete at a maximum level.  Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day (3-4L) depending on your training regimen, and be sure you are eating quality, nutritious foods.

Take Your Time

“In the end, the race is only with yourself.”  Make sure you pace yourself in training.  Start off slow and build up at an appropriate level.  You should view your training as a process of improvement that should include gradual steps forward.  Try finding a local training mentor in the Charleston area to help you understand how to pace yourself not just within training, but also throughout all of the months leading up to the big day

Take Inventory of Necessary Equipment

You will need certain pieces of equipment to compete in a sprint triathlon.  You will want to make sure you take stock of all that you have, and all that you need.  Make sure everything works properly, your bike being most important here, but invest in quality tennis shoes and swimwear.

We hope this information has been helpful and informative.   Most important, it is NOT too late to register to volunteer or participate as an athlete! Just go to www.trycharleston.org.

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