Home Chat General Chat

Training and Race Day . . . why do they differ!

Why is it that what I train I can't seem to put into practice on the big day.

The swim. I regularly swim 1000m sets, averaging about 18 strokes per length, good action, nice glide, and get out feeling refreshed. Come race day, I'm like a bloody windmill, mashing my way up the pool, completely out of breath 3/4's of the way through, and usually revert to breaststroke. Is it that adrenaline takes over and all the best intentions of a steady controlled swim go out of the window and I just go for it?

The bike. Generally I'm happy'ish with my race day performance on the bike. I now know what my weaknesses are, and will target my training to deal with them.

The run. If that's what you can call it, more of a shuffle. Running has been, and I think will always be my weakness. But over that last 2 months I've made a concerted effort, and taken about 2-3 minutes of my PB for 5km. Everytime I get off a bike, I make sure I have a run, just to get that feeling. But again, come race day, the feeling I get is nothing like I can replicate in training. Run form goes out of the window and it's a struggle to get to the end.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving doing what I'm doing, all my Sprint times are around or under the 1:30 mark, my splits are getting slightly quicker, and I'm not making too many mistakes. It's just that I can replicate training performances in races.

Any tips or guidance would be appreciated.


  • Options
    md6md6 Posts: 969
    I get the same thing - i put it down to 2 things mainly. Addrenaline causing me to go out faster than i expect/want in the swim and then just having to hold on as long as i can. secondly, the fact that on race day i am faster than in training, which make the run so much harder. What i am going to try will be to go very hard on my bike for 20k or so with a few hard hills then get off the bike and go at race pace on the run. I think that I am going to have to hurt in training a lot more, to stop the hurt in races. In reality its likely that i'll hurt more in training then go faster in races and hurt just as much as i do now, just faster
  • Options
    joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
    I'm no expert by any means, but I found that by doing regular, fairly hard, brick sessions it helped with my run enormously as it came down from 27mins to 23mins...as for the swimming again, a couple of ow practise sessions helped with that overall regular breathing/consistant stroke thing and therefore not having to revert to breaststroke..still it took till this year after my 3rd tri to get there!!
  • Options
    FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749

    still it took till this year after my 3rd tri to get there!!

    Glad you said that Joolz! I've got number 3 coming up in August and determined not to do any breaststroke this time.

    Generally though (apart from the swim), I've been pleasantly surprised with my race day performance versus training. However, I've just been doing for the enjoyment at the moment. I'm sure as I get more scientific about it further down the line this will change.
  • Options
    Great to have read this thread .. i feel exactly the same during training vs competition, except on bike for some reason.
    I was more confident in my 2nd race yesterday and that got me further before i struggled in the swim.
    When i train I'm pretty relaxed by comparison, and that means no practice in the race situation where you're struggling for every breath .. i plan to work on some serious speed interval training to get stronger at working in the anarobic zones.
    mm..or something like that .. basically I'm just gonna learn run and swim faster when tired to simulate the tension felt when in a race !
Sign In or Register to comment.