WEEK 8 | Pre-Race Load Tapering

13th Beach Health Services Barwon Heads Triathlon

The focus as you move into your last training week is to optimise your competitive readiness. This encapsulates feeling at your peak performance, training should feel at a good intensity and minimising any form of fatigue, illness or stress in the lead up to race day.

Specifically, for a sprint triathlon, load tapering can be planned for 3-7 days before your event. For the most effective training, research has demonstrated that intensity is the key training attribute to focus on in your last training week. Short, high intensity sessions are advised over long, high volume, fatiguing sessions. Overall, training volume (km’s) should aim to be reduced between 41-60% (swimming) and 20-60% (cycling and running). This still induces positive physiological, psychological and performances adaptations in highly trained triathletes.

However, this is highly individual and athletes/competitors should aim to maintain their “feel” with training whilst staying fresh and energised. Evidence suggests there is no benefit from reducing training frequency.

Sessions for this week should include at least 3-4 of the following sessions.
One session in each discipline plus or minus a BRICK set:
 BRICK sessions (change over practice)
 Interval sessions
 Tempo sessions

1. It would be great to fill your cup with whatever makes you happy. Whether that be getting a massage or treatment (at least 48hours before the event ideally), yin yoga session, meditation, a walk on the beach etc.

2. Maintaining adequate hydration during the taper and especially during the
48hrs preceding a triathlon competition is key to ensure that work capacity is not diminished at the beginning of the race (Casa et al., 2010). Urine colour is an inexpensive and reliable indicator of hydration status (Armstrong et al., 1994), and it may provide a valid means for triathletes to self-assess hydration level, notably during the taper period.

3. Care with Carb Loading – Carbohydrate loading can optimise muscle glycogen stores but not all carbs were created equal. One person may digest and feel fantastic with a bowl of favourite pasta but not everyone. Focus on a tried and tested feel-good, balanced meal in the 24hours before race day.
This will avoid bloating, sluggishness and maximise energy levels.

If you have any niggles or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 13th Beach Health Services on 03 5254 2668 or book online www.13thbeachhealthservices.com.au


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