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Workouts

Must-Do Workouts to Get Ready for Race Day

These key sessions will give you the confidence to let it rip at your next sprint or Olympic tri.

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How do you know your brain and body are ready to race? These key sessions will give you the confidence to let it rip at your next sprint or Olympic tri, knowing that all of the hay is in the barn. Do them no more than two weeks out from your goal race, and no less than five days before the event. Important: Since you’ll be approaching peak fitness and nearing your taper, resist the urge to push up against your limit—save the best for race day.

Real-life Pace Changer Swim Set

Why? This test set simulates much of what your body goes through during the swim leg of an actual race. After hitting this workout, you should have the confidence to be aggressive during the start and know what to expect in terms of fatigue.

What? Do a short warm-up that closely mimics your race-day routine. Try to visualize a crowded start and the adrenaline surrounding the first 200. The fast sections of this workout will give you an idea of what it feels like to round a buoy or pass a slow group mid-race and finish strong out of the water. Focus on quickly settling back into a rhythm during the pace sections.

500 warm-up easy
6×50 drill 25/swim 25
4×50 build 1–4
200 at 8/10 (roughly 5–10 sec faster per 100 than race pace); 15 sec rest
4×100 at goal race pace; 10 sec rest
2×50 at 8/10 (roughly 2–5 sec faster per 100 than race pace); 15 sec rest
4×100 at goal race pace; 10 sec rest
4×25 at 9/10 (hard effort, extra kick); 15 sec rest
300 cool-down easy
 2,500 yards total 

Bike/Run Race Simulation Attacks

Why? This brick workout not only forces you to perform transitions under stress, but it also familiarizes your body with the bike-to-run feeling. Though this shouldn’t be your first or only brick workout, the intensity of this session will give you a feel for race-day transitions.

What? Find an open, safe spot where you can lock up your bike or put it in your car after quickly donning your run gear. (Or grab a buddy to stand guard.) On the run portion of the brick, you’ll put on everything you’ll wear/use on race day for the most realistic simulation; the faster you can transition from bike to run, the more effective this workout will be.

Five times through:
Bike 5 min at race pace or 7/10
Fast transition!
Run 2 min at effort faster than race pace or 8/10
Run 1 min very easy, reset transition
No more than 3 min total rest between sets, including time resetting transition and the 1 min easy jog (so hurry!)