Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicago Tri- PLAN DON'T CRAM!

Hello Chicago- we are six days away from the annually anticipated Chicago Triathlon.  The one with thousands of racers and that insanely early start time.  This is the race that tons of Chicagoans register for in the dead of winter to secure their spot and then somehow forget to train until suddenly they realize, "OMG!  It's August!"

Of course, the race is not sneaking up on everyone.  There are plenty of people who have been training diligently to have a great race.   But being a Tri Coach and a swim instructor, every single year I get people looking me up these last few weeks before the race for swim lessons, a training plan, you name it.   Once you hit August it is too late to cram the training in, but not too late to plan.  Read on for my advice on how to have your best race this weekend, even if your training was not quite up to par.

1. Work your strength- Ok, you are a 20 minute 5K runner, but you suck at the swim.  And you never made it to those group lessons you registered for.  If you need to do breaststroke the whole way, do it.  Cruise through the bike, and nail the run.  If you are just wanting to finish this tri, use as little energy as possible on your weak stroke and go for it on your strength.    

2.  Practice your transition- Transitions are the fourth discipline and they are the only part of this race that it is not too late to prepare for.  Watch some YouTube videos, read some blog posts on transitions and practice.  You will feel much more confident going in if you have a plan for T1 and T2.  

3. Go to bed early on Friday- Ok, you are going to have to get up by 4 am on Sunday so Saturday night is basically a wash when it comes to sleep.  Don't think you can head out for a night on the town on Friday and be okay come race day.  You will be paying for it if you do.  Do yourself a favor on Friday and hit the sack by 10 pm.  Then wake at an earlyish time Saturday so you can crawl into bed before midnight on the eve of the race.  

4.  Ask for help- Chicago Tri is crawling with beginner triathletes, but is also chock full of experienced racers.  If you arrive there Sunday and are about to have a panic attack when you see the spandex clad, aero helmeted, IM tattooed racer next to you setting up his transition area, just take a deep breath.  He could be a wealth of information!  If you have questions about where to put your bike, or where the run out is, just ask him.  I have never met a triathlete who does not like to share his knowledge of the sport.

Good luck racers!  I cannot wait to cheer each and every one of you on this weekend!
-Coach A

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