PRE-RACE SWIM WORK­OUTS

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM - BY CLINT LIEN

TRACE SIM­U­LA­TION HE GUNS ARE about to sound. Race sea­son is fast ap­proach­ing (if it hasn’t al­ready ar­rived at your gate). Ev­ery­one should have a good win­ter base un­der their belts, but now it’s time to do some spe­cific work in the pool to pre­pare you for com­pe­ti­tion. And that means race sim­u­la­tion. Many of the me­tres that have been put in lead­ing up to this point will have been done at a pace faster than your re­al­is­tic race pace. That’s im­por­tant work, but it’s also im­por­tant to put in a good chunk of dis­tance mov­ing at the pace (or paces) you’re ex­pect­ing to achieve dur­ing a race. If you don’t, you will find that your body is sim­ply not pre­pared for the de­mand.

For the novice ath­lete about to em­bark on their first sprint triathlon, an im­por­tant el­e­ment of suc­cess will be to ex­e­cute the swim in an even pace and not get caught up in the ini­tial rush at the sound of the gun.

But a sea­soned vet, hop­ing to make the podium in a stan­dard-dis­tance race, will likely want to get in a fast pack and hang on feet. That will mean start­ing out strong for the first few min­utes then set­tling in to a pace you can hold for the rest of the swim.

This is the time of sea­son to do ses­sions that will help con­di­tion the body to per­form op­ti­mally un­der these de­mands. Here are a few sug­ges­tions:

It’s also ben­e­fi­cial to mix in a healthy dose of longer time tri­als – 400, 800, 1000 and even 1500 m long. An ef­fec­tive train­ing method for time tri­als is to break them up based on your event. For ex­am­ple, af­ter you are well warmed up: FOR SPRINT DIS­TANCE: 2 x 400 m FOR STAN­DARD DIS­TANCE: 2 x 800 m

Take a two-minute break be­tween ef­forts and work hard to keep the same pace for both in­ter­vals.

Record your times and try the same ses­sion a few times as your sea­son ap­proaches. You should sep­a­rate your at­tempts by at least a week. The im­por­tant el­e­ment in de­sign­ing swim ses­sions as race sea­son ap­proaches is speci­ficity. Cre­ate main sets that mir­ror dis­tances and ex­pected paces – done on shorter rest in­ter­vals. As you move into the sea­son, you should main­tain sim­i­lar sets, but the main sets can be short­ened by as much as 25 per cent and you in­crease the rest in­ter­vals marginally, depend­ing on your fre­quency of rac­ing. If you’re not rac­ing too of­ten, then main­tain the dis­tances.

Do it in train­ing so it’s not an un­pleas­ant shock in rac­ing!

Clint Lien is the head coach of Mer­cury Ris­ing Triathlon in Vic­to­ria.

Ses­sions two and three are for ex­pe­ri­enced ath­letes plan­ning on strong re­sults in a stan­dard­dis­tance event.

The first ses­sion is de­signed for a novice sprint-dis­tance ath­lete.

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