Before I get into my race plan, my workout today was the usual full body weight training including tons of squats (jump squats and knee-up squats), followed by a 30 minute walk on the treadmill on a 5-8% incline (varied throughout the time). I was supposed to run today, but my legs felt a little weak after lifting. I think it was partly due to my brick yesterday. Anyways, I thought it best to take it easy and walk instead of stressing them more right before a race. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, on to my race plan. It’s probably more detailed than necessary for a Sprint race, but I want to get into the habit of planning out my week prior to races. I think it’ll be helpful with my confidence and mental status in the week of the race.
I will do a light swimming workout, doing about 60 minutes of short sets. I will focus on breathing and practice sighting on the end of the pool. My goal with this workout is simply to get into the water and build confidence, there is no need to push myself. I will make sure that I have two pairs of goggles that are properly adjusted during this swim.
After work, I will go to weight training and go light on legs. I should be able to do a normal arm workout as I will recover in plenty of time for Saturday. After weight training, I will go for a one hour bike ride but stay in Zones 1/2 and include a few accelerations in Zone 4/5a. My focus will be continued confidence with clipping in and out of the pedals.
I am taking the day completely off from exercise. I will use the time I would normal spend working out relaxing and preparing mentally for my race. Thursday night I will pack all my race gear and things for the rest of the weekend. I will put my bike on my car if it is not raining.
Race Packing List:
- 2 pairs goggles
- extra swim cap
- bathing suit
- heart rate monitor/watch
- water bottles
- sports drink
- energy bar
- cycling shoes
- tire pump
- cycling shorts, and gloves (probably won’t wear, but bringing in case)
- running shoes
- anything else?
I will leave work early (around 3PM) to drive down to the race site. If I make it in time, I will check-in and pick up my packet. If I don’t, I’ll just do it on Saturday morning, there will be plenty of time. After arriving, I will take a quick 15 minute run and a short 30 minute bike ride, which is also what I will do to warm-up on Saturday morning. I plan to be asleep by 10:00PM.
I will wake-up at 6:00 AM and eat my usual breakfast of a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. Then I will take a quick shower (Side note-I know it’s weird to shower before a race, but it helps me focus and prepare mentally for the day) and get ready. I will wear my bathing suit as my bottom layer. There is supposed to be a high of 74°F, which should be perfect. I’ll bring some extra layers in case it gets cold or is raining (40% chance) though. At 7:00 AM I’ll head over to the race site and pick up my packet that I probably missed out on getting on Friday night and find out what wave I am in. I’ll set up my transition area and eat a nutrition bar and sip water throughout the morning. I’ll rack my bike and attach my race number to my bike, helmet, and shirt, then head over for body marking. At 8:00 AM, I’ll do a warm-up of 15 minutes running and 30 minutes biking. I’m not sure I’ll get in the whole warm-up, but I’m going to try. I do not plan to swim in the morning unless the water temperature is above 70, which I do not expect. At 8:45 AM is a mandatory race meeting, so I’m probably going to have some downtime between my warm-up and race start.
When my wave starts, I will line up near the front, but towards the outside. Once I am in the water, if I am able to make some gains on the leaders, I’ll move toward the inside and sight on the buoys every sixth stroke. I plan to go out strong and keep an even pace through the whole swim. I expect to stay toward the front of my wave for the swim and exit the water early. As soon as I am on dry land, I will undo the velcro and zipper on my wetsuit and pull off the top half. Then I will remove my cap and goggles on the way to my transition area. Once in transition, I’ll take the bottom half off and put on shorts and my shirt with my race number pinned on. Then I’ll put on my shoes (no socks), helmet and sunglasses. Finally, I’ll take my bike off the rack and run to the mount line.
The bike begins with a short up-hill stretch, so I must make sure to clip-in as soon as possible for maximum efficiency. After the initial climb, the bike portion levels out for a mile or two, so I will pace myself in anticipation of the climbing later on. Throughout the bike, I will sip on a sports drink and if I need more food, I’ll eat a nutrition bar. For the last 2 miles of the cycling course, I will increase my cadence to 90+ rpm to prepare for the run. I will also try to keep my heartrate low for this last bike portion, and slow my respiration so I am not out of breath starting the run. When I reach the dismount line, I’ll run my bike to my transition area, rack it and remove my helmet. Then I will change my shoes and put on socks and running shoes. I’ll run out of the transition area, and settle into a 10 minute mile pace. After the first half of the run, I will pick up the pace to 9:30 by increasing my cadence. At each of the aid stations I’ll drink water. When the finish line is in sight, I’ll pick up the pace with as much strength as I have left to finish strong!
I’m going to try and stick to my plan as much as possible for these next days and into race day. I’m hoping for a stellar performance on Saturday and I can’t wait to see how it goes!
5 more days.