The Sprint to Race Season: essentials for planning and executing the perfect training program for an upcoming race

March 8, 2017

The days are getting longer and the race season is fast approaching. And whether you're a newbie or a veteran, running a 10K or participating in a Triathlon, now is the perfect time to kick your training up a notch. So, here are some tips for setting and meeting your race goals and crushing your best time!

 

Pick Your Race and Sign Up Now!

 

Don’t wait until a month before the race, instead, sign up as early as possible so you have ample time to plan a training routine and get inspired. The pressure of knowing that you are registered for an event provides extra motivation. After all, nothing feels worse than being a couple Kilometres into a race and realizing you weren't ready.

 

Make Your Plan

 

A good training program runs 5-6 months pre-race, however, you can your adjust time frames depending on the distance of the race. Once your race date is set, split your training into thirds. In the first third of the program (4-6 weeks), start cross training. Add swimming, running or biking to your regular workout program. For the next third (4-6 weeks), start building your endurance by making each area of your training longer. Now, take all of what you've been doing, and build the intensity for the final third of your training program (4-6 weeks). Mix in high intensity sessions like sprints and hills with your endurance sessions. If your training for a marathon, for example, your most intense (longest) run should ideally be 2-3 weeks before race day.

 

Do Strength Training & Plyometrics

 

Don't forget to include strength training in your program. Strength Training helps you to boost power, reduce fatigue, guard against injury and increase your late-race energy reserves. Jumping, hopping, bounding and leaping exercises (plyometrics) can enhance your training performance by teaching your muscles to recover quickly between contractions, and also produce faster and more forceful efforts. In a race like a Triathlon, going from the pool, to the bike, to supporting your own weight is not an easy feat.

 

Measure Your Progression

 

Measure your ability at the beginning, and then re-measure once a month to see how your progression is and where you may need additional help. A good measure for a sprint triathlon, for example, is a 500-meter swim, a 5km run, and a 10-20km road-bike ride.

 

Time to Taper

 

You've worked hard throughout your training to build your strength and endurance, now it's time to cut down. Again, depending on the distance of your race, tapering should start anywhere from 1-3 weeks before the race. And avoid lifting heavy weights on race week, it can take up to seven days for your body to fully recover from the muscle tearing and damage that occurs while doing resistance training. So in the last week prior, limit your time in the weight room and limit your plyometric exercises - focus on a few quality swim, bike and run sessions depending on the type of race your training for.

 

 

Finally, whether it's your 1st or 101st race, make sure to have fun and be proud of your accomplishments! 

 

If you need help planning the details of your training program, give us a call us at 250.871.2400, or email admin@bodynetix.ca. We have a ton of experience training for Triathlons, long distance road races, and even Snow to Surf!

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