Taper for sprint tri

I'm doing my first ever triathlon a week on Sunday (21st April, Ribby Hall in Lancashire, 400m swim/18k bike/5k run) and I'm wondering how much to ease off in the week before hand. I'm using the event as a warm up/practice for an OD tri in the middle of June (southport) so it's not my A race and most of my training is starting to focus on the longer distance. An average week at the moment would be around 22-25 miles running, a couple of sessions in the pool, and 60ish miles on the bike. I'm going to try and put in more miles on the bike after the sprint tri as that's my weak area, I feel more at home with the running. How much should I ease off in order to perform well a week on Sunday? My last planned long run (11miles) will be tomorrow, but I'm planning to get plenty other training in this week. My plan for next week would be something like: Mon Run - short interval session Wed Run - short and easy (would I benefit from missing this?) Thu Swim - few intervals of 100/200m Sat Possible swim? I'll probably cycle to work most days which is a 7 mile round trip but I do use it to try and build strength. Anyone got any advice/pearls of wisdom? Anyone else entered in the event?


  • I too am doing my first triathlon on the 21st up here in very snowy Aberdeenshire.  I'm only doing a novice tri so I'll do a 5K run at the start of the last week and a couple of gentle sessions in the pool to practise breathing and that's it.  This is my last week of training as I see it so I'll be blasting everything I can this week.  I also have an hour long sports massage in the last week as well.

    what do more experienced folk think?

  • Good luck with your tri Pete. Be interesting to hear how people approach tapering for a tri compared to for a running event.
  • If your using said tri as a B race I would treat the week before as a recovery week and just cut down the volume by 40% or so and add a day off before the race, you want too feel fresh before hand but still wanting too keep in touch with regular training... Avoid any harsh speed work etc, hope this helps! Oh and best of luck!
  • Thanks for that Jamie. That's helpful an reassuring because its in line with what I was thinking. I want to practice transitions. Anyone got any tips on how to do this?
  • Yes, set up a safe transition area in your garden, garage or other available place. You probably won't be able to do a swim-bike change unless you live by a handy lake or river, so go out on your bike for a short hard ride, come back to your transition place and go for it. Some folks like to do as the pros do and take their feet out of the bike shoes prior to getting off but that takes a lot of practice, I still can't do it. Everyone finds their own preference for setting out your gear but this is the way I do it.

    Helmet upside down on the tri bars, sunglasses upside down in the helmet ready to put on. Number on number belt, belt hung on the handlebars. Small towel or transition mat to stand on, shoes opened out, socks if you use them rolled down ready to pull on. I like to sprinkle both socks and shoes with talcum powder, makes them easier to pull on over wet feet. So - helmet on and done up, sunglasses on, number belt on, socks and shoes on, go! Remember you have to have your helmet on and fastened PRIOR to grabbing your bike or you will be disqualified. same thing coming back in - don't undo your helmet until you have racked your bike. And remember to have FUN!

  • Another tip - before the race starts, be sure to memorize exactly where your bike is, use something near or in the background such as a specific tree or post as a marker, or count the rows of bikes. Check to see which way is the exit out of transition. It's easy in the heat of the moment to come out of the swim and forget exactly where you put your bike! Unless you are one of the last, all racks of bikes look pretty much the same.

  • Thanks for that Ironwolf - some really good tips there. Is it worth practicing the swim/bike transition wet? (I'm sure my daughter would love to soak me with the hosepipe) I guess this would help to replicate what it will be like to cycle wearing wet clothes as well.
  • hi

    yes, worth practising getting socks etc on when you are wet, and standing up - trying to pull socks on wet feet without falling over isn't the easiest thing to do

  • That's as good a reason as any not to use socks until the run.  Even then, for a 5k you could probably manage without, although I wouldn't try it for the first time on race day.

    Just to follow up on Wolfie's pearls of wisdom, at this stage you don't need to worry about being super fast - having everything laid out properly, knowing what you have to do, and just being efficient at doing it will gain you lots of time.  Rushing it just leads to mistakes.

  • I have to wear socks, I'm very prone to blisters, can get them in an amazingly short time - I handle it by sitting on the ground to pull socks and shoes on after the swim. Coming back off the bike I just kick the bikeshoes off, slide my feet into the running shoes, pull the lock-laces tight and I'm away.

    Yes, what Cheerful Dave said, practice your changes so the transition is fixed in your mind, don't panic and just do everything the same as you practiced.

  • It's good advice. I'm not onto clipless pedals yet so t2 should be straight forward, just take helmet off and twist the number round, it's t1 I'm. More concerned with. Some good advice though, which will definitely help.
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