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Race Preparation Focus

In the week before an important triathlon, you should be decreasing your swim workout distance and duration, but do eliminate short, high intensity intervals. If you have not determined what your race pace "feels like," try to determine that now while swimming a few 400 yard repeats. If open-water swimming is not available or practical, you can practice open water skills, and simulate some race conditions in the pool.

Open Water Skills Practice at the Pool

Try to practice these skills in a way that simulates race conditions.

  • Sighting. If possible, remove the lane lines and swim a course that cannot be folllowed easlily by looking down at the tiles on the bottom.
  • Drafting. Practice different drafting positions - toes and hips. Also practice drafting in lanes or while swimming an oddly shaped course (see sighting, above).
  • Crowding. Everybody into one lane, or navigating the same course.
  • Passing. Slower swimmers start first (and try to catch a draft when being passed).
  • Cold Water. Not a joke. If you have not acclimated to cold water yet this season, as you finish your shower after practice, turn off the hot water, and try to stay relaxed in cold water for as long as possible. Do this every time you shower to help de-condition your body's natural panic reaction to cold water.

Race Preparation Focus Workouts

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