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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness July/August 2012 : Page 34

training The triathlon that you have trained so hard for is only days away. To make all the training, all the hours, all the pain, and all the sweat worth it, you need to finish your training correctly with a great race week preparation plan. THE TAPER The most important week of your training is taper week. If you do too much or too little, all the hard work could fall apart. Now is not the time to try and get in an extra workout. What you have is what you have at this point, so just take it easy and get your body rested for the race. Taper week should have workouts at a shorter duration but same intensity. Instead of 1:30 bike ride, maybe 1:00 bike ride. You still want to keep a few short intervals in your workouts to keep the snap in your body and maintain the effort with which you will be racing. I like to do a swim workout two days before even, and a short 15-20 minute bike ride the day before event, just to keep the body moving. If you do nothing during taper week, your body will feel very heavy and flat on race day. NUTRITION Your nutrition during race week is just as important as your taper. Lower your calorie intake; your training is decreasing, and you don’t want to add unneeded pounds at the final second. Start carb loading several days before the event, not the night before like so many do. If your race is on Sunday, start carb loading on Thursday by simply eating carb rich meals. Your big carb meal needs to be on Friday night. It takes your body 24-48 hours to break everything down and put it to work; this is why eating a large meal the night before does very little good. The day before the race graze all day on carb heavy items, but not a huge meal that will sit heavily on the stomach. Though race preparation is the only time I recommend this diet, during carb load I prefer eating anything white; white bread, white rice, white pasta, white potato, etc. These items break down quickly and are stored in the body as glycogen. This will be the energy source your body will pull from first on race day. While you are eating all this wonderful white stuff, be sure to decrease fiber, fat, and anything spicy. I recommend cutting out leafy greens, cheese, and hot sauce; anything that could cause an upset stomach is a fast way to ruin a great race. REHEARSE THE TRANSITION The final thing you should work on before race day is transition practice. Races and goals can be won or lost in transition; it’s the easiest way to get free speed. Set up your transition in your driveway and practice putting on your helmet, TRI [ RACE DAY READY ] BY RYAN ELLIS CONQUER TRAINING 34 JULY / AUGUST 2012 | OKSPORTSANDFITNESS.COM

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