Week 6: Race Week Resting

It is unbelievable that in just 3 and a half short days I will be competing in my first triathlon.  There are so many emotions going through my head and I am questioning how hard I’ve trained and if I really have it in me. Which is only natural  I’m also really excited to have all my friends and fellow REC staff members cheering me on from the sidelines.
This may seem like a total given but this week, sleep is essential.  You should be reserving energy and building up those sleep hours starting Thursday. Don’t just sleep 12 hours on Saturday night and assume you will be fine. Sleep should be built up over the next few days to allow for optimal performance on race day.
Something really important to talk about is tapering. A taper is the period of time before a big race or event that allow training to minimize and the body to get much needed pre-race rest and recovery. The taper volume and duration depends on how long you have been training, how far the distance, age, physical ability, etc. I loved the days when my coach told us we were going to start tapering for big swim meets. It was the best.
Training should essentially trickle off as we get closer and closer to the race. For me, my taper is starting today. I am going to go for a short swim just to get the arms moving and a good feel for the water, hit up yoga tomorrow to stretch and relax then Friday and Saturday take it relatively easy with lots of stretching, walking and resting in store. I feel that a 4-day taper is more than enough considering I am only doing the sprint triathlon and have been training just under 8 weeks.

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For the few days before the race you should be consuming lots of water and staying away from large amounts of caffeine and sodium. These add to water retention and will cause that bloated feeling which is not conducive to an effective race. The 48 hours before the race you should be drinking so much water that you are peeing clear. Weird, I know but it’s the best way to ensure that you are fully hydrated with good liquids.
And here we go. Just 4 more days and we can call ourselves “triathletes”. Continue sharing your training and this weekend’s successes on Twitter (@ubcrec) using #TriHard. Good luck if you’re competing this weekend!

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