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How To Structure A Training Plan | Triathlon Training Explained

How To Structure A Training Plan | Triathlon Training Explained


(relaxing music) – Welcome back to another
Triathlon Training Explained show, powered by TrainingPeaks,
and today we’re going to be explaining how you can design and create your very own triathalon
training programme. – Now of course you can
wake up every morning and do whatever you want,
but if you want to follow a more structured and well thought through training plan, then we’re gonna talk to you about that today. – Yeah, but obviously without a coach, designing a training
programme for an entire season can be a little overwhelming. So we’re gonna help you out, we’re gonna break it all down for you, and give you some inside coaching tips. (upbeat music) – Okay, it really doesn’t
take a genius to figure out that heading out the
door, doing what you want is not really the best plan, and yet so many of us still do it, and I am definitely guilty of that in the past. – Yeah, I’ve got to admit that’s
probably me at the moment, however I do know that by following a well thought through plan
that’s been well structured with adequate recovery time in there, is much much better for you. Ultimately, you’re going
to improve your performance in the certain areas that your working on. You are gonna recover better
because you’re allowing time for that, and you’re gonna turn up to that race in much better shape. – So the first step of this
process is goals, you need to figure out what you want from your season, be that completion or a time,
a certain result perhaps or focusing on an area within your race. But do bear in mind that
it has to be realistic and achievable because
that lays the foundation for everything going forward. – Yeah, and then once
you’ve got that sorted it’s time to start
planning, now at this point I’d like to make three checks. Number one, where are
you at, in terms of your current fitness and your
experience within triathlon. Number two, and this is
quite an important one, what distance or length race
are you planning on doing from those goals that you’ve made. And then number three, what
is your available time? – So if we take each of these individually you’re gonna have to
asses your current level of fitness and experience. If you’re new to the sport,
or perhaps relatively unfit, you’re gonna have to take
things really slowly, start off easy, and keep that volume and intensity really
low for quite some time. If however you’re quite
experienced and have done the sport before then you
can build that up quite, well much quicker, I suppose,
certainly intensity and volume and also if you’ve been
doing the sport for a while you’ve got that little bit of a head start because you’ve been starting beforehand, but we’ll talk about that. – Yeah, and then of course
you’ve got the race length, which is a really important
factor because if for instance your doing a sprint distance
triathlon, that is obviously a far different race from an Ironman, both in therms of its distance
and also its intensity. So that will obviously really depict the type of training you do,
the length of the sessions, your weekly total
volume, and honestly also the training zones you’re
going to be working in. – We also can’t forget
taking into consideration weekly schedule, everything
outside of triathlon. Be that your family, work
commitment, any other engagements that you’ve got going on, so you can fit the training around about it. But also be able to perhaps flag up days where you can do certain
things, like maybe your long bike ride or long
run, that you can think about. – Yeah and to actually
help this I’ve quite often get athletes to jot this down in a diary or a little planner, with all their social
engagements, or work, and then you can start to see where
they’ve got free time and then you can start
to plan your training in around all of that. Well, on that subject where do we plan it? – Good point actually, and to
make sure that we’re planning our training properly we need to make sure that its written down somewhere, and that can be hand written or electronic. That allows us to actually
plan the training more easily, and make sure that we stick to it. Now we both used to keep
handwritten log books or training diaries in
the past, but now things have changed quite a lot,
and they’re now online in things such as TrainingPeaks. – [blonde speaker] Yeah,
I mean it really has come a long way since we first started, but it makes things so much simpler. You can quickly see how many hours a day you’ve done per week, what
distances you’ve covered in each discipline, and also
it allows you to make sure that you’re not overdoing things to much and just gradually building
your training properly. – Yes, and now lets get
stuck into the actual planning and designing of
that training programme. For that were gonna use TrainingPeaks, but obviously you can
use other online versions or even the good old trusty pen and paper. Now your first point of course is to input the events that you’ve
entered for that season, and they essentially make the
goal post you work back from. You can kind of think of it
almost like a birds eye view and overlook of the whole year. – Yes, so let’s take a target
race and we’ll call that our A race for the year, the one that we want to do the best at. So we’ll see where that
is and then work out the time we’ve got from now till then and split that up into blocks of time, and we can take each block as a three to four week training block. That’s the sort of distance
time we like to use, and then you would take those three weeks out of the four as a gradual build. You would pick up the volume and the intensity over that three weeks. Then you’d take the fourth
week as a recovery week where you just absorb all that
training that you’ve done, and then you would go again
in the next block, but aiming to push on a little bit
further then you did in that first block. – Yeah, with that structure
we now want to start roughly pencilling it into
our training programmes between now and the big event, but don’t forget to block
out any periods of time that you’re going to be away on holiday or perhaps away with work. Then once those blocks are
in your training programme, they’re all sorted, we now
want to start thinking about what they’re going to contain. And this what we call
periodisation, and this does differ very slightly from
each coach and athlete you speak to, but as a
general rule of thumb they’ll consist of a prep phase. Where we gradually ease
ourselves back into training, and we get ourselves fitter,
and we condition ourselves for the demands of triathlon. And this can actually be
spread across a couple of training clocks if you
need to and time allows. – [blonde speaker] Then you’re
going to have the base phase. Which is another period where
we can block out work trading. That’s where we’re gonna
focus on the aerobic capacity that we need to build up. We can also dove tail some strength and intensity work as well. – [brunette speaker] Yeah
and then we’ll move into the build phase, and it starts
to get quite tough here. We start to really focus
on race specific sessions, so you start to mimic race
scenarios, race distances, race intensities, race
courses and profiles. So it really does get quite
specific and quite tough. – And then we’re going to
finish off with the peak phase, which essentially is the
shortest of them all. A couple weeks and represents taper time. And that means we can back off
all the work that we’ve done in the base and build phases,
and recover from everything that was put in there, but
still keeping crucial amount of intensity in there so that we’re firing on all cylinders come race day. There’s a lot to this isn’t there? – Yeah, I mean we never
said that this is easy. – Yeah, so we can now start
zooming in a little on the day to day stuff and template of training. But regardless of your level
or how much time you’ve got available in a week, you need
to be mindful of not doing to much to little if that makes sense. So say Monday Tuesday you
do some swims don’t leave it to the following Monday
to do a swim again. It’s much better to do
little and often and pepper your training for each
discipline throughout the week. – Yeah I mean, don’t want
to go five days without swimming for instance, imagine that. – [blonde speaker] Yeah. – But yeah I mean the thing we
want to focus on now is going into that prep phase, so when
you starting out in triathlon you want to make sure everything
is easy and quite light. Then when we build from
that we’ll start including some harder key sessions. With that said, if you are
starting out in triathlon or coming in at a lower fitness
level then you may not actually want to include these harder sessions, it may not really be necessary. What you want to do is
just do a continuation of the work that your doing
in the prep phase, maybe just starting to include a
little bit more volume. – But if you are gonna do
some of those harder sessions, you definitely have to have
some consideration as to where we’re gonna put them
in our weekly training. What we’ve done before, what we’re going to be doing after as well, that all needs to be taken into account. – Yeah, I mean this is an endless topic so to help us out here
we’re actually going to bring in a pre-made
plan and run you through why things are where they are. Now before we start looking
through this training programme you might notice its quite a lot of hours, we’ve got 18 hours here, so don’t panic thinking that you need to
be doing that much training. This is quite a good,
accomplished age group athlete that I used to coach,
who has podiumed at Kona. But lets get stuck into this and take a quick look, so Monday. – [blonde speaker] Looks like
you’ve got aerobic ride and a bit of a swim in the afternoon. – Yeah so quite an easy day
planned in for him there. Who tend to have a bit
more time over the weekend, so he really makes use
of that, so longer rides, harder sessions there
so Monday tends to be almost like an active recovery. – And that’s quite a common
thing for a lot of people to do the training, isn’t it? – Yeah, I mean, make use
of that larger proportion of time that you have
available and that does tend to be obviously on a
weekend, on the non working days. – So that actually means
by Tuesday we’ll start getting into some harder work. – Yeah, exactly, so on Tuesday we’ve got a run session planned in and actually here he’s focusing on the top
end sort of speeds for work. And actually that’s all
he’s got planned that day. Then at two on Wednesday we’ve
just got a steady easy run, obviously an easier run
because he’s just done a hard run the day before. He would quite often do two
sessions per day, but just here way things worked, perhaps
with work this week he just did one session Tuesday and Wednesday. – But then back into
Thursday you can see you know got three disciplines that’s
clearly a bigger day for him. – Yeah, that is, so he’s
got a long aerobic swim in the morning and then actually
in the evening after work we want quite a punchy session. He hasn’t got masses of
time obviously with it being after work, so we’re really
trying to get the most bang for your buck, so he’s
got a hard bike session, sort of top end power. And then he’s actually doing
a run straight off that bike, quite a short run but he’s managing to hit sort of half marathon
pace in that session. – Yeah, and that’s a really
time efficient way of getting a good quality session in. – Absolutely, and then
when we move into Friday we’re doing quite hard swims. So we’ve got a threshold
swim, and then given that he’s just pounded the legs
for the last sort of few days he’s not doing any cycling or running, he’s just doing a strength
and conditioning session. – But that sets us up for what
I can see is a big weekend. Exactly yes, so on Saturday
he’s got a very long ride. Sort of prepping for his
Ironman racing this year. He’s doing some big sweet
spot efforts within that ride, and that’s all he’s doing for Saturday, where we were currently during that block. And then on the Sunday. – [blonde speaker] Oof. – Yeah, I mean he’s got
a long run, but that was mostly steady with a little
build towards the end, and then quite an easy and short open water swim in the afternoon. And I actually used to
almost make that optional if he’d like to, cause
he’s already by that point done three swims. so that’s quite a chunky training block. – Yeah so obviously this
is right bang in the middle of a proper build into an Ironman. – Yeah, absolutely, I mean
this could be I’d say this is either mid block or towards
the end of the block, and then obviously gonna take a recovery
week pretty soon after this, because this is a lot of
training to accumulate. – Getting a run like that done
means I would hope he wasn’t really doing anything longer than that. – Exactly, and obviously
the way that we progress the sessions is trying
to almost accumulate longer sustained efforts
at those race paces. So we’re building that in
gradually and that’s what those recovery weeks are there for, so you can adapt and absorb that training. – Well we hope that you’ve
enjoyed this video about how to plan a training programme,
but like we’ve said this is a huge topic,
and there’s so much more that we would’ve liked to have covered, so if you’ve got any specific
questions or comments then please drop them below. – Yeah and one last thing to
consider is fitness testing. Now these are really
valuable for making sure that you’re training in the
correct set of training zones, and also for making
sure that you’re working at the right intensities
and speeds during a race. Now to find out a little bit
more about fitness testing, then you can see our five
preseason fitness test video by clicking just down here. – And remember if you’ve liked the video please give us the thumbs
up, and don’t forget to click on the globe to
subscribe and see all the other videos on the channel. And if you’re doing your first triathlon and like to see a playlist
about those then click here.

28 thoughts on “How To Structure A Training Plan | Triathlon Training Explained”

  1. Do pros use that 3 weeks of training then 1 rest week structure? Or do higher level athletes require less frequent rest weeks?

  2. So im unfit (im realistic about that :D), my wive and i got into cycling last year and decided to give triathlon a try next year…we have two sprint events in mind for next year (around May and July) but we also wanna do a half Marathon in october? Is that too much?

  3. Hi, thanks for your video! I think the city where you live and the kind of job you have, both of them change a lot you plans. A good tip is to use all the wasted moments of the day (for instance commuting to work…) not as a moment full of laziness but as an opportunity to train. For instance by running to the office! Same with the bike. It is important also to buy rollers to train at home during winter time. I am studying The triathlete's bible by Joe Friel and unfortunately!!! if you wanna do an IM (not the half) you have, during the phases Base and Build, to train for a big amount of hours (18 but even 22) pro week. Which sounds a lot but a good plan can help us to reach the goal!

  4. I am following the trainerroad program for Olympic distance. It gives you 3 options, low volume, mid volume and high volume depending on your available time and how fast you can recover. I chose the mid volume as I am now over 50 so need a bit more recovery. This saves me from designing the plan and it adjusts with your ftp. It was only $129 or about £2 per week which I think is good value. I can't afford £50 per month for a coach😓.

  5. Do you have any tips for getting motion sickness when swimming? I think its due to the head movment to the side but i use ear plugs and anti sickness tablets an atill start to get queezy around 800m and after 1000m have to jump out an throw up

  6. Great video, how would you suggest structuring a plan with 10 weeks between 2 Ironman events? (The 10 weeks in between I mean)

  7. #globaltriathlonnetwork if my aim is to complete an IM (Bolton 2019) do I need to do intense sessions or do I just keep building my duration/endurance? Miles

  8. I have a training plan, created one by myself using "Triathlete's training bible" .My first 70.3 race is quite far away (in September), so now I have to do aerobic workouts mostly. But (unfortunately?) my love to cycling brakes this plan a bit, because local cycling races start just at the end of spring, which means anaerobic efforts a bit earlier..)

  9. What would your recommendations be in regards to incorporating some strength sessions in there? How often? Which muscle groups? How much rest / recovery? Thanks.

  10. The for 5+ minutes you essentially reiterated the same things over and one over…please get on with useful information! stop rambling!

  11. Great video. I also use training peaks and plan using the atp function. How do you increase the workload for 3 progressive weeks then a rest week if your already training with all the time you have available? Do you add and extra early morning run to get a bit more tss? Using the example in this video how can you add more tss? Thank you. Great work guys

  12. Please check out my small boat called the Seahorse
    An ideal training aid as a swimmer can be safely followed and coached in open water.
    www.seahorsefun.com
    It is a bicycle powered catamaran that has a large trampoline, it is very fast, can be sailed, transported in a pickup truck bed, trailored, roof racked, camped on, fished from, raced, thin ice fished from, lived on, etc. Any bike powers it, from mountain bikes to road bikes, tandems, recumbents.

  13. 18 hours a week?!? How about us mere mortals??
    Can you break down a more basic 8 – 10 hour/week plan for Olympic tri training?

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