CLT Training Tips
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am excited that the CLT is only one month away. This final edition of training tips focuses on putting the finishing touches on your race preparation.
First, why are you doing this race? Do you remember your thoughts when you signed up? Sometimes these simple questions get lost in the chaos of squeezing training into your already full life. The key to having a successful race and maintaining motivation while training is to focus on your individual goals. For me triathlons are about staying fit, enjoying the competition and hanging with my friends. Races can be intimidating and you may feel overwhelmed at first, but whether you finish first or last, you are still a finisher.
Some of you may be alarmed by the reminder that the race is four weeks away. However, there is still time. Do a few bricks to see how your legs feel off the bike. Swim in the lake to see if you can stay straight. If you live locally consider joining the Ithaca Triathlon Club on Wed. July 10th at Taughannock Park where entrance is free after 5pm and many of us will do a practice ride/run through the course starting at 5:30pm. Additionally, starting in July, there will be a 75 yard swim lane open at Taughannock every Saturday morning. If you don't live locally, look at the race website to get an idea of the course. The bike is hilly in the first few miles. It is a good idea to practice biking uphill for 1.5 miles at a steady but not crazy steep incline to prepare for the race. The good news is that the swim and the run are mostly flat. The run is on grass and packed crushed rock trail so consider doing a trail run.
If you have been consistent with your training all along, nice job! Consistent training results in adaptation but can also result in injury if the load is too high. Now is the time to be careful. I usually see overuse injuries in my office a few weeks prior to people's big races. Pushing real hard right now won't make you much faster but can get you injured. Listen to your body and don't train in pain.
As you approach race day, if you are a late sleeper, allow your body to adjust to get up at a different time by setting your alarm a little earlier and go to bed a little earlier. It is a bad feeling when that race day alarm goes off at 4 AM and you want to toss your alarm out the window. Don't try anything new race day. Practice waking up early, eating your pre-race meal, and try out your race outfit and gear.
People often wonder about bathroom issues race day. First of all, let me assure you that there are lots of bathrooms in the park and even a port-a-potty in the transition area. You certainly can't control all of the race day jitters and GI issues but you can at least lower the impact by being smart. As Cindy Milner, RD mentioned in May's tips, the night before the race is not the time to try a new spicy Indian dish or something that you are not used to eating. Race morning try to avoid heavy foods and don't drink more than your body needs in fear of dehydration. It usually is not that hot out there and the run offers some shade.
I hope that everybody has a fantastic race and got something out of these monthly tips. I certainly have enjoyed writing them. I look forward to seeing everybody on race day. I also get to race in the Cayuga Lake Triathlon this year and will try to heed my own advice!
Andrew R. Getzin, MD
Clinical Director Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance
Cayuga Medical Center
USAT Level 1 coach