How to keep triathlon training simple - Simon Ward
Posted by on 18th February 2020
Regardless of whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned athlete, training seems to get more complicated by the season. This can make it feel overwhelming.
There is so much information out there now from the well meaning athletes with experience of what works for them to the growing number of coaches eager to persuade you that their ‘method’ works best.
This year I celebrate 25 years of coaching triathletes and in that time I have tried just about every training philosophy out there, either to prepare for my own races or when coaching others. During that time I have learned that there are a some fundamental principles which have stood and will stand the test of time. I will outline these below. They are in order of importance and you will get a long way towards your goal if you just kept these in mind and ignored all of the noise out there.
Be healthy - not just free of illness injury but with strong mental health
Be consistent - avoid missing big blocks of training through injury or illness
Just train. If you are patient and consistent, you will get fitter. This is especially pertinent if you are new to endurance sports. For the first few years, any training will bering gains
Find a plan that works for you - this is the principle of ‘individuality’ and at its basest level it really means just because a plan has worked for others it won’t necessarily have the same impact on your performance
Prioritise sleep - the bedrock of human performance. Skimping on sleep has implications way beyond triathlon performance
Use 3 training zones - easy, moderate, hard
Develop a refined sense of pace (RPE). You don’t need gadgets to achieve your goals
Eat real food. -
Think long term - Avoid overly ambitious short term goals. When athletes try to force fitness gains quickly it invariably results in injury or illness
Become a master technician - work hard to master the processes - swimming skill, running technique, bike handling, pace judgement (RPE), what nutrition works. Endurance sports ar not just about aerobic fitness
Do not ignore strength mobility work - you need a robust body to handle years of repetitive actions
Avoid mega sessions which will affect future workouts. - that doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally do a long session of a big day but make sure they are planned in with adequate recovery days planned afterwards
Hopefully that will make things a little clearer and training a bit simpler. This is your hobby and its supposed to be fun. If you spend too much time worrying about which type of training works best you will lose that fun.
Just get out there and train and enjoy the journey.