Useful tips ahead of your first race of the year!

Within our team at First Stride we are lucky enough to have resident GB age grouper Laura Addie.  I sat down with Laura and asked her for some to prepare for the upcoming season. Below is our interview with her:

After the holiday period and most people doing less training over winter what is the best way for prepping for your First Race of the 2018 Triathlon Season?
‘After a hard graft of winter training, you’ve finally made it! Lighter evenings and warmer weather is on it’s way. A new season is upon us and with it comes a fresh schedule of events. What you do early on in the season can have a big impact on the outcome of you more important races later on. The popularity of half marathons and multisport events, such as duathlons, as some early race season preparation are great way to measure up your fitness levels post winter training. While hard training sessions are good, there is no substitute for a head to head competition which also includes all the added mental demands that are hard to replicate in practice.’

Is there any specific training that you do early in the season to give most help?
‘For many, your first triathlon is probably still a few months away, however adding in a few longer ‘bike to run’ sessions is vitally important in training the legs to run efficiently through fatigue. If this is your first season of triathlon the feeling of ‘jelly legs’ and transitioning straight from bike to run can take you by surprise both physically and psychologically. Finding comfort in the bike to run transition calls for some regular practice, however quality is more important than quantity. Normally the first couple of minutes are the biggest struggle so 15-30 minutes of running off the bike will not only give you the experience of making the difficult transition but also provide an opportunity to feel settled into a constant pace before ending the workout.’

Outside of training what can we do to ensure our season is a success?
‘Take the time to check your equipment over, if you have different training and race apparel then your racing kit may need a bit of TLC after being sat in the garage for the last few months. Best not to leave this until the night before your event so try and get in full gear for each of the three disciplines at least once before your first race. It is also beneficial to have a quick run through of T1 and T2 to refresh the process in your head. Packing all your triathlon gear can feel like you’re packing for a holiday, there’s a lot of stuff to remember, so a race day checklist can help get you to the start line well prepared for any situation.’Racking

When we get to our race what is the most important thing we can do?

‘At this point training is done, its just about the day ahead. There’s no point causing yourself unnecessary stress which could set you up for a bad start. Arrive early! Chance is, if you’re racing a triathlon you’re going to be up early anyway, so you’re best off setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier to allow you to arrive with plenty of time to set up, get your body markings, timing chip etc.
Once racked, walk your T1 and T2 lines in and out of transition and make a mental note of the landmarks to help you easily find your bike during the race, double check your gear is correctly place, have a quick snack/loo stop before starting to warm up and get into your wetsuit.
Many people can’t stomach their normal breakfast on race day, if this is the case you’re best off carrying a few smaller, easily digestible foods to eat throughout the morning. Your pre-race meal can be worked on and adjusted throughout the season as it will be different for each individual.’

What does your season look like?

‘I’ll be starting off with some Half Marathons in Surrey and Sussex in the early season. Also getting in some duathlons for multi-sport practice. My main focus this year is to compete in Ironman 70.3 races. I have qualified for World Championships in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) so that will be my main focus to build up to that. Of course I will be at First Stride’s events over 2018, so come over and have a chat with me!’

Anything else you can add to help us out?

‘Most of all, just enjoy it! We are all doing the sport(s) which we love, whatever time you’re doing them in.’

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