How to train for a cross triathlon in two weeks.
Simply put, you can’t!
You’re unlikely to make any meaningful fitness gains with 14 days to go. You’re better off looking at other ways to train for Cross Triathlon.
We list our top tips on how to train for a cross triathlon in two weeks.
(In our case, we are training for the TrailX Cross Triathlon at Pippingford Park on the 7th of September.)
Prepare for Aussie Exits.
Cross Triathlon is unique in that you’ll often have an ‘Aussie Exit’ mid swim. You’ll need to climb out of the water, run a short distance and jump back in to complete your next lap. Going from a prone swimming position, into a vertical run position can play havoc with your blood pressure! Its tricky to stop this from happening, but you can get used to the feeling by breaking your training swims up with climbing out of the pool mid effort and feeling the effects of a change in blood pressure.
To make sure you are completing the correct course and not swimming further than is necessary, ensure you follow the line of buoys carefully! If you’ve not practiced this before, once every 4-5 strokes when your hand enters the water apply a bit of pressure in a downwards movement to lift your head up out of the water so you can look for the turn buoys.
Swim in your wetsuit
Wetsuits are often compulsory at UK events. Our climate and the river fed nature of lakes keep temperatures on the cool side. If you’ve not done so already, make sure you do a few practice swims in your suit. Inspect it for any tears or signs of damage and most importantly, check it still fits! Wetsuits can feel restrictive so if you are new to them, ensure that you’ve practiced wearing one whilst swimming.
Ensure your gears are working and you can use them!
The nature of Cross Triathlon involves plenty of elevation changes! There are some tough climbs, long climbs and steep climbs! Spinning up a hill will always be easier than grinding a big gear. Now is a good time to make sure your gears are working correctly so that you can make use them! Pop the bike to a shop or follow a youtube video to have them set up properly, then test them by shifting through each gear to ensure it all works smoothly.
Reduce the volume of your sessions but keep the intensity.
With two weeks to go you’re unlikely to increase your fitness much, but you can still ‘overtrain’ and make yourself fatigued. Avoid this by reducing the amount of time you are training on the bike each week but maintain the effort so that you will stay sharp and accustomed to your race pace effort.
Ride some singletrack at race pace
Everyone loves riding wicked single track and there is plenty on offer in the woods, but it’s a different ball game when riding at race speed. You’ll approach obstacles faster and with less time to react. Also remember that you will be a little fatigued from the swim so you may not deal with any technical sections quite as well as you might in training. Overcome this by riding some singletrack as part of your race pace efforts in training.
Practice running off the bike
Running off the bike is a strange sensation. After a mountain bike ride your whole body will feel like jelly! In the last two weeks before racing, include a couple of brick (bike/run) sessions to help you get used to the feeling of doing it back to back.
Train to effort rather than pace
Running on hills and technical terrain will kill your average speed but ramp up your effort! Ignore the pace function on your watch as it won’t give you a true indicator of your effort and instead use your heart rate or perceived exertion to gauge your pacing.
Take care of yourself!
Out of the three sports, running puts the most stress on the body during training. Be careful in these last two weeks to stay on top of any niggles or aches and pains. Use ice packs after training sessions, eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep to avoid any injury or illness in the run up to the race.
In summary, when training for a cross triathlon in two weeks time, don’t spend these last few weeks trying to squeeze any more fitness from your body. Use your time to ensure that all of your equipment works and you are prepared to use it!
If you’ve got any last minute questions, or need some help – drop us a message using out contact page