TRIATHLON >> Tapering for a Triathlon Competition

Tapering for a Triathlon Competition (Tony Benson)

The first thing to consider when planning a taper is the importance of the race. If the race is the major race for the year, eg, an Ironman, a National Championship or a World Championship, the taper might start between 10 days and two weeks from the race. The approach to these races is set out below.

 

For a normal Series type triathlon race the taper will start on the Wednesday morning prior to a Sunday race and finishes on Tuesday evening after the race. You must calculate how many hours of swimming, cycling and running you would normally do between Wednesday morning and Tuesday evening of a normal training week. The normal aim is to achieve between 70-90% of what would be done normally but at much less intensity as the race replaces all hard workouts. Swimming is not too stressful so it can be done at about 90% intensity for swimming, 70% intensity for cycling (the race plus easy riding with a few sprints and lots of spinning) and 50% intensity for running (the race is the only hard thing).

*If the race is an important one do not be afraid to start the Taper earlier and to reduce the training load by up to 50%.

The Sunday Race Taper. The process of preparing for a race starts on the Wednesday.


Wed am  Ideally everyone would swim a hard session.
        pm  Train as per your program 
Thur am  After a 15 to 20 minute warm up that includes 6 x 100m run throughs run 6 x 200m stride outs with a 200m jog recovery.
        pm Ride from 50 to 75% of the normal weekend ride. Include 4-6 x 200m sprints
Fri    am  Swim squad or Rest
        pm Rest
Sat   am/pm Pre- Race Activity Day. Normally this would include an easy ride and run 
        **This is a day you must feel comfortable with. Training lightly (am) & (pm) can help with nerves!!
Sun  am Race
        pm Rest or ride easily to make up any lost miles for the week.
Mon  am Ideally everyone would swim. 
        pm Rest, jog or run some technique stride outs
Tue   am Ride as normal. If tired reduce the intensity or duration of the workout by 25 to 50%.
        pm Run easily for 30 to 60 minutes.
        *Do the long ride & run you missed on the next TT/Rec week.
Wed  am/pm Train as normal 


Note

1. Wednesday is the day you either resume normal training as per the programme or start to
repeat the pre- race week if you are going to race again the following weekend. You can
race as many times as you wish using this format but ideally an average of one race every
2-3 weeks is recommended.
2. Remember if you are going to race it is worth being fresh so you may even wish to make
the Tuesday prior to the race a little less intense if you have not been feeling 100%.
3. Equally no really intense training until the Thursday after the race and even that can be a
little easier if you are not 100% recovered. 
    
The Saturday Race Taper. The process of preparing for a race starts on the Tuesday.

Tues am Ride as normal
        pm Level 0/1. Rest
              Level 2 Rest or Run 15-30 mins easily
              Level 3/4 Run 15-75 mins easily.
Wed am Ideally everyone would swim a hard session.
        pm Level 0/1. Run 15-25 mins including 3-5 x 30 seconds @ 90-95% speed 
              Level 2 Run 20-30 mins including 4-6 x 30 seconds @ 90-95% speed
              Level 3/4 Run 30-60 mins including 5-8 x 30 seconds @ 90-95% speed
Thur  am Rest 
        pm Rest
Fri    am Swim Squad- all athletes
        pm Ride 15-45 mins easily & run 5-15 mins easily. Just turn the legs over
Sat   am Race
        pm Rest or Swim
Sun  am Weekly long Ride
        pm Rest or swim or run easily
Mon  am Ideally everyone would swim a hard session.
        pm Train as normal (which may be resting)
Tue   am Train as normal (which may be resting) 
        pm Long Run. Anything from 50 to 90% of the normal weekend long run
Wed am/pm Train as normal (which may be resting)

If racing on the Sunday of a Rec/TT the week will look as follows:

Mon: Train as normal
Tue:  (am) Complete the Cycle workout listed for the Tuesday immediately following the Rec/TT week
                unless you raced the previous Sunday - in which case you may reduce the intensity. 
        (pm) Complete the workout list for the following Tuesday immediately following the Rec/TT week
                unless you raced the previous Sunday - in which case you do your long run
Wed: (am) or (pm) Swim as normal
Thu: (am) 6 x 200m @ 3k pace
        (pm) Long ride as outlined on Taper sheet
Fri:   (am) or (pm) Swim or Rest
Sat:  Ride 20 to 40 mins and Run 10 to 20 mins easily
Sun: RACE
Mon: (am) or (pm) Swim
Tue:  (am) Cycle as per Taper sheet
(pm)  Easy medium to long run.
Wed: Return to normal training

For further information or questions please call Tony Benson on 61 (0)3 93292192.

Olympic Distance & Half Iron(Wo)man Taper

(The following is a sample programme but circumstances and individual preference have to be considered.)

Race Day Half IM (or Long Course) Race*
Race Day – 1 Light 20-40 min Cycle and 10-20 min Run. Stretch well. Swim if you did not on Day – 3
Race Day – 2 Swim 30-60 mins
Race Day – 3 Cycle 1-1:30 hrs (incl 2-3 x 3-5k @ race speed) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 4-6 x 200m strides)
Race Day – 4 Swim (ideally incl. a fartlek type surge over 1-2k in open water)
Race Day – 5 Cycle 1:30-3 hrs (incl 3-6 x 200-400m sprints) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 2-4 x 500m-1k @ race pace)
Race Day – 6 Swim (ideally 2-3k of longer reps, ie, 400-800m @ aerobic conditioning pace)
Race Day – 7 Cycle 1:30-3 hrs of mixed work but moderate intensity + Run 1-3k “off the bike” easily.
Race Day – 8 Cycle 15-30 mins @ 70-89% + Run 60-90 mins @ 50-80%. Swim easily later in the day.
Race Day – 9 Swim a normal session.

Iron(Wo)man Taper

(The following is a sample programme but circumstances and individual preference have to be considered.)

Race Day Iron(Wo)man Race*!
Race Day – 1 Light 20-40 min Cycle and 10-20 min Run. Stretch well. Swim if you did not on Day – 3
Race Day – 2 Swim 30-60 mins
Race Day – 3 Cycle 1-1:30 hrs (incl 2-4 x 3-5k @ IM pace) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 4-6 x 200m strides)
Race Day – 4 Swim (ideally incl. a fartlek type surge over 1-2k in open water)
Race Day – 5 Cycle 1:30-3 hrs (incl 3-6 x 200-400m sprints) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 3-5 x 500m-1k @ IM Pace)
Race Day – 6 Swim (ideally 2-3k of longer reps, ie, 400-800m @ aerobic conditioning pace)
Race Day – 7 Cycle 2-3 hrs of mixed work but moderate intensity + Run 1-3k “off the bike” easily.
Race Day – 8 Cycle 15-30 mins @ 70-89% + Run 60-90 mins @ 50-80%. Swim easily later in the day.
Race Day – 9 Swim a normal session
Race Day – 10 Cycle 1:30-3 hrs (incl 8-10 x 200-400m sprints) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 5-8 x 500m-1k @ IM Pace)
Race Day – 11 Swim a normal session
Race Day – 12 Cycle 1-1:30 hrs (incl 6-8 x 3-5k @ IM pace) + Run 30-45 mins (incl 8-10 x 200m strides)
Race Day – 13 Swim a normal session

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