TRAINING: So Where Do I Start?

Start with the end in mind (thank you Steven Covey and your “7 Habits of Highly Effective People)”. By planning your season with one race you can apply a work-back schedule from where you want to be to where you are today.

  • No path is a straight line — life is never predictable (in fact wouldn’t it be boring if it was?). Sickness, work, travel, your cousin’s wedding – they all happen. Don’t worry about it. Although consistency is king, it is always better to miss a workout for a good reason than it is to show up and be half-committed. Stay within the constraints of “working too much” and risking injury, and “working too little” and risking diminishing fitness and you’ll be fine.
  • Stress to Recovery Ratio and Progressive Overload – you must slow down in order to speed up! Throughout the weeks and months ahead you will sometimes work hard, and sometimes take a break (not a full break, just keeping up consistency at a lighter effort). This is the pattern to follow to ensure an upward trajectory for performance, but with little dips down in order for your body to catch up. As a general rule avoid stacking intense workdays with more intensity. It’s all about balance.


The bread and butter of your training is how you fill those individual workouts.

As discussed in the “progressive overload” section, no plan should be as simple as – just go out there and do it. Each workout should have a focus, whether it is to build strength, power, speed, efficiency etc. Without the use of scientific data like a HR monitor or power meter to illustrate my point, I would keep things simple by assigning a number to each workout which refers to your perceived exertion (1 being I’m asleep and 10 being I can’t take one more step). BY NO MEANS SHOULD YOU RUN THE ENTIRE WORKOUT AT THIS EFFORT. As a rule of thumb work your way up to the middle third of the assigned workout at this pace, using the first third as easy warm up and last third as a super easy cool down.

*Note – I typically suggest LONG RUN ‎days are only at 5/10 effort. Keep it relaxed and easy – almost embarrassingly slow! Although you may not feel the burn, I promise you your body is adapting to the stress.

I usually schedule rest days after the long run day (all that pounding really adds up). Although you should take at least one day a week to do nothing but chill, you can still use that time effectively by doing something restorative like massage or a stretching class. If your schedule only dictates 5 days a week to train, you could, for example, add a Thursday run to a Wednesday workout (thus freeing up another rest day on Thursday). Ultimately, this type of rearrangement, will set you up well for “brick” workouts, that typically would start in Week 7 of a basic sprint triathlon training program

By TRI-TRAIN Coach, Jason Hervey


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