Supporting our athletes with a race day practice

Two weeks out from race day, Tri & Run athletes and coaches took part in a do-it-yourself triathlon – a great opportunity to test out kit, nutrition, pacing, and preparation.  Having this local race practice also gave an opportunity for the coaches to support, observe, encourage and reflect.

Athletes thoughts;

Great swim, with a good moderate pace.  T1 was smooth and I recognised that by not rushing everything felt a bit easier.  The bike started well out of transition but the first 5 miles was tough into a headwind.  A great opportunity to get another ride on the TT bike, but I need to try and relax a bit more.  Nutrition was better than usual, but still an area for improvement.  Overall pleased with the bike leg.  T2 was also fairly good.  I know I set off too fast in the run – so I’m going to focus on starting at a more moderate pace at the race.  Seeing the coaches on the run was a great boost and really kept me going as fatigue was definitely settling in.”

“Overall a great practice, really helped knowing that others were there suffering too.  It has given me the confidence that I’ll get round, but I’m still a little worried about maintaining pace with extra miles.  Also the ridiculous pre race nerves!  Thanks so much Tri & Run for organising, joining me and supporting.

Coaches perspective

The first benefit of this mock triathlon is to test out everything from preparation the day before and kit, to nutrition and pacing.  Although we really wanted the athletes to have a positive experience, it is also a great opportunity to learn from mistakes and test out nutrition and pacing strategies.  Having a coach taking part and also observing means we get feedback from different perspectives, that give a very rounded view of the athletes, that can be used to aid individual progress.

Watching so close and being able to ride alongside and communicate with the athletes was also a positive experience.  To see and hear how they look and feel at different parts of the race and how they deal with different elements of the race is valuable information for a coach.  This information can help provide relevant, individualised support and advice for the upcoming race as well as the rest of the season and the years ahead.  Supporting this mock race has further enhanced the coach-athlete relationship which is a positive enhancement of the coach-athlete journey.

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