70.3 ready? Try this rehearsal protocol
70.3 Race Rehearsal Protocol
Simulate race conditions to prepare mentally and physically for a 70.3 triathlon event.
Enough time ahead of the race so that changes can be made based on rehearsal experience. Ideally 4-5 weeks beforehand.
Day before preparation
Warm up and stretching
30-minute swim (optional)
40- 50-mile bike
Use race day kit, bike set-up, tri suit and food/drink. Set up your bike as it would be on race day with all the necessary fluids and fuel already loaded. Have a water bottle for the run if necessary.
Day before preparation As you would on the race weekend, take a rest day before the rehearsal to ensure you are recovered from training and ready to go. Eat healthy balanced meals during the day, as per normal, with maybe an extra portion of carbs at lunch and dinner. Sip water throughout the day but avoid over hydrating and risking hyponatremia. Lay out your kit and prepare your bike and gear as you would before a race. Pack all necessary food and drink. Get to bed early for a good 7-8 hours’ sleep.
Rehearsal day Plan on doing your rehearsal at the same time as on race day (ie) 7 or 8 am. If you plan on having something to eat beforehand, you will need to be up at about 4.30 to consume and digest your pre-race meal of choice such as a banana, bagel or oatmeal. Get dressed in your race day kit.
Warm up and stretching Go through your normal warm up and stretching routine. Gradually work up to a point where you are breathing hard, so that your body is accustomed to the effort before the race starts.
30-minute swim (optional) The main focus of the rehearsal is the bike and run, which you should conduct in a location that best resembles the race or is most convenient and safe for training. If there is a swimming pool or body of open water that is in the same location, then begin the rehearsal with a 30-minute EZ swim. Transition to bike gear if applicable.
40- 50-mile bike Mount your bike and commence the 40-50 miler. Keep the effort in zone 2 heart rate, avoid spiking on hills. Apply sunscreen and lube where needed and drink and eat as you plan to do on race day. Keep as good an aero position as is comfortable and can still deliver power. This will not be the fastest ride you will have done in training, nor the longest, but the idea is to instill some pacing discipline and ensure you have enough gas in the tank to complete a 13.1 mile run on race day.
Transition Once you have completed the ride, proceed to a prompt transition. Make sure to take care of any safety or security concerns, if you need to lock your bike on the rack for instance, adjust your clothing if needed, apply anti-chafing cream and more sunscreen, then get straight into the run.
45-minute run The first mile or so will feel a bit wobbly but keep jogging lightly until you get your running legs working. Then settle into a steady heart rate zone 2 pace that you expect to maintain for 13.1 miles.
Recovery Once you finish the run, wipe down or towel off as you might do on race day and get some recovery food and drink down your neck asap: chocolate milk is a good option, you are probably sick of Gatorade at this point. Cool down and get off your feet for the rest of the day. Mentally note anything that you would change, think of what worked and what didn’t. If the rehearsal went well, then you are good to go on race day. If you had any mishaps or problems, then plan on another rehearsal in a week or two that addresses these problems.