Race Build Stage

Race Build Phase: with the clocks moving forward, weather improving and water warming up (a little), many triathletes thoughts are turning to their race preparation training phase. Here’s a few considerations whatever distance you’ll be racing soon…
1. Familiarity with equipment: start to wear your Tri suit and any other race kit in sessions, set your bike up in full race set up including race wheels, full water bottles etc…
2. Key sessions outdoors: most important training sessions will be those at race intensity and these should be done outdoors in the real world as specificity to race day becomes crucial in your prep.
3. Test race nutrition: regularly use the nutrition brand(s) you intend to use when racing and in key sessions use the amount you are aiming for in your race. Train your gut! Check your tolerance when working at intensity.
4. Run off… brick sessions become increasingly important in this phase. Become familiar with the feeling and pacing.
5. Transition practice: you work hard to gain fitness but may be losing time if your skills aren’t up to scratch. Consider a few sessions of T1 and T2 practice. Each time you swim open water remove that wetsuit as speedily as possible as soon as your exit the water. 
6. Race day warm-up? Consider what you will do and if you’re not likely to do much then try a swim practice at race effort without warm up and get used to that sensation.
7. Check out the race course: probably only for local or key (A) races but knowledge of the course can save you a little time and avoid mishaps.
8. Open water swim skills in the pool: pacing off feel, sighting, turning without touching the wall, swimming in close proximity with others are all good ideas prior to open water season.
In summary simply think preparation through FAMILIARITY & SPECIFICITY in this phase of training.
Phil Ellison is a Senior Coach at Total Tri Training - find out more here