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Wes Hobsen continues with his journey to enlighten you on the secrets of improving your racing speed in triathlon.
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Sean: Now whether you do only one trap or several, it is best to have a checklist return down ahead a time which outlines all the necessaries you need in order to have the best possible race. You can download the check list that I used before all of my races on the endurancefilms website at www.endurancesfilms.com.
Speaker: Thanks Sean.
Speaker: Well, I just last finished my last hard day training and it's time to rest and for more on resting and tapering before big race, let's discuss with Joe Friel, who is the author of 'Triathlete's Training Bible,' professional coach and owner of ultrafit.com.
Joe Friel: An important part of racing faster is the race taper. This is a period of reduced training which brings the athlete to a peak for the race. Our purpose here is to recover more and actually train less. The taper period may last two to four weeks depending on the duration of the race that you are turning for. If the race is very short, let's say it's sprint distance race, the taper may only be two weeks long whereas if it's a race, you may be tapering for four weeks prior to the race. During this two to four week period, we are going to change three aspects of training. The first is duration, how long the workouts are. Duration is going to reduced gradually over the course of the tapper period. So the workouts would gradually get shorter as we go through this period of reduce d training.
Frequency of the workouts, in other words, how often you do workout will stay about the same or may be slightly reduced. So if you are currently training let's say ten times a week, we may reduce that to only eight or nine times a week, in other words, eight or nine total workouts for the week, it won't change very much. The biggest thing we're still changing there is duration of the workouts, so they are getting shorter.
Intensity is very important to the tapper period. This is the time -- during this time we want to make sure that tapper is allowing the athlete to do workouts, which are race like intensity about every third day. The purpose of this is to rehearse the intensity of the race, the pace that you can doing, the swim, bike and run to make sure this is becoming very ingrained to the way that the race is going to be contested. The race week itself is slightly different. The workouts become very short during the race week. The race week is a time of a greatly reduced training. It may only be at 50% of the total volume that you were in two to four weeks prior to the start of the tapper period.
The workouts are very short by the end of the week. So short that they may only be just a few minutes long, the day before the race perhaps. Two days before the race I like to see the athlete take a day off. This is a good chance to get fully rested up. The day before the race, I found most athletes perform better if they have had a day with some intensity built into it. This intensity should be very short in the neighborhood of say thirty, sixty or ninety-second repeats, very long recoveries, perhaps two or three times as long as the repeat was and the intensity of the workout again and the intensity of these short repeats is at race intensity. So, if you are doing a splint distance race, there would be short repeats that are done at sprint distance space, same would go for a longer distance race.
Speaker: A lot of athletes ask me how I I tapper before a big event, before a big race and myself personally, I like to not back it off too much or I train in such a large volume of work that I found if I drop my volume and drop my intensity too much that, that I feel very clogged and slow and not as sparky as I like to be, so someone like myself, I, obviously about four days at it, I tend to drop the amount of training I do it to about 70% of the maximum and then I have the -- before I off before a Sunday race I'll do a slight bit of exercise on the Saturday before a race, may be in a couple of, five or six hundred yards swim in a pool, maybe a fifteen to twenty minute ride on the wind trainer or on the straights or on the course a ten to fifteen minute run and that's on the Saturday before a race so I really back it up, but I think it's important to do something the day before a race, to keep the blood going, to keep you in the mood, to keep your body prepared for what is about to go though the next day, and I tend to get up very early the morning of the race, just turd around for about 15-20 minutes running to a few runs first or a few sprints, just to get my body back in the mood for exercise. It's going to be a hard effort and a hard day and you have to make sure your body is prepared for that type of effort.
Michelle: The day before the race can be a very stressful time. There are countless things that an athlete must think about in order to have a great performance. One of the best place for us to figure out what these things are is probably to visit with Joe Umphenour, who is one of our top ranked US triathletes. Joe is here right now. Good workout, Joe.
Joe Umphenour : Thanks Michelle,
Michelle: We are visiting a little bit today about pre-race; what you do the day before a big race in order to have a great performance. Since you have some good performances this year, I thought you do a good personal tactic, got any ideas for us?
Joe Umphenour: Well, one of the most important thing is to make sure that you go to the race meeting before hand, so that you have the course down in your head and you can visualize it during the day. Most important for me is to be sure that I have all my equipments ready to go. So I run through everything. Make sure everything on my bike is tied, make sure my tires are pumped up, make sure all my equipment is out, my uniform, so that when I wake up race morning I just have to grab my stuff, go down to the race-site and I am set to go.
Michelle: So tell me a little bit about your nutritional routine Joe?
Joe Umphenour: Probably the most important thing is to be drinking, drinking a lot of water, if it's going to be a hot day, make sure you are taking in a lot of salt because you tend to sweat out a lot of salt during the race.
Michelle: Good job, sounds great. Well, good workout today. Why don't you go ahead into showers?
Joe Umphenour: Thanks, coach.
Michelle: You are welcome. Now a little more on the hydration and nutrition because it is such a vital part of a good race. I think we should head over to sports science and talk to the nutritionist there Paige Holm . So follow me, let's go. May I come in?
Paige Holm: Hi! Michelle.
Michelle: Can I bother you for a minute?
Paige Holm: Sure.
Michelle: I came up here to talk a little bit about nutrition. We were just down in the swimming pool, talking with Joe Umphenour about what he does as an athlete the day before race and I thought might be nice for these guys to hear from a Pro on nutrition, you are a sports nutritionist, and find a little bit more about what they should do before a race?
Paige Holm: Okay, I would be happy to. You spend months maybe years getting ready for your big triathlon race, and the last thing you want to do is have nutrition be the reason why it doesn't workout for you. It's important to note that poor nutrition in the days prior to the race is a bad idea and will actually foil your efforts on race-day.
On race -- on the day before race-day, what you want to do is focus on several things. The first thing you really want to focus on is getting enough carbohydrate. As you race, your body uses primarily carbohydrate as its fuel for the muscles. So you want to make sure that you get plenty of carbohydrate on the day before the race.
You also want to make sure that you get plenty of fluids on the day before the race. The recommendations are to have about 8-10 glasses of water per day before the race. You want to make sure that you probably want to avoid some high fiber foods because gastrointestinal discomfort can be an issue on race day.
And finally the biggest rule of nutrition is you don't want to have any brand new foods that you have never tried before on the day of the race because you never know how your body is going to react to that. So if you mak