April 5, 2018
The triathlon race season is fast approaching and for some of you it could be a matter of only a couple of months until your debut triathlon. Fear not, you still have time to knuckle down to some training and be ready for race day.
A starter or sprint triathlon is a great entry point to the sport and is an achievable goal for beginners and people tight on time. Trying to plan out training for swimming, cycling and running in an organised fashion can be a bit overwhelming though, no matter what the race distance.
If you do have approximately 8 weeks to go before race day, the next 2-3 weeks should be spent base training. This means mostly easy/steady efforts over the 3 disciplines focussing on consistency and routine – basically training regularly. Be realistic with the time you have available to train per week. Plan to fit in up to 2 workouts per swim, bike and run. If time is very restricted do less of your strongest discipline. Likewise if you have more time to hand add in an extra session of your weakest sport.
Weeks 4-5 switch the focus to technique and endurance. Gradually increase the volume but do schedule in rest days. Introduce brick sessions from now on too. A brick session is where you combine two or more workouts together, ie you bike straight after a swim or run straight after a bike ride, like you would do in a race.
In the last Castle Newsletter I covered Open Water Swim Practice. The swim section, especially if open water, is often the main cause for concern. Remember you can still practice open water swim skills in the pool if the water temperature is too cold to swim outside. If you do have the chance to swim outside in a safe environment and with other athletes, it is definitely worth the effort. You can also use this time as a rehearsal to get in to and out of your wetsuit.
Weeks 6+7 concentrate on some faster paced training. Become familiar with getting out of breath and being a little out of your comfort zone. Continue with the brick sessions and now use this opportunity to master your transitions. Make sure you feel confident getting on to and off your bike swiftly and safely. If you have been practicing your open water swim skills in the pool now is the time to transfer them to outside if you haven’t already done so. This will help prepare you for race day.
Week 8 is race week so this week you can cut back and reduce the volume. You should by now have also tested all your race equipment and be completely happy and comfortable with it. Still include a bit of pace this week but only for a very short effort and with full recovery.
You are now ready to race. Good luck.
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