TRIATHLON TRAINING : PLANNING IS PARAMOUNT

Your goal is now clear in your mind, and there are a few weeks left before your race. This is the longest and most complex phase in your preparation: training.

1/ The advantages of a training plan

As for me, I don't improvise my training sessions to reach my Ironman goal, i.e. I don't just train whenever I have the time. To prepare for my race in the most effective and organised way, I refer to my training plan.

To find out more about how a training plan works:

The aim is simply to help you understand that following a training plan will allow you to schedule   all your sessions in advance. When you're training seven or eight times a week, I can assure you that you'll need to know exactly how this week, and the forthcoming weeks, are going to pan out.

By following your plan, you'll know how many swimming, cycling and running sessions you'll have to fit into your week, and if need be, organise the different sessions around your availabilities.

You're probably thinking, “That's all well and good, but where do you find these famous training plans?”

Yes, I have the advantage of being member of a triathlon club, so I'm lucky enough to have a trainer who devises my plans for me. Incidentally, if you are thinking of signing up to a club, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. It's true that memberships are on the expensive side (between 200 and 300 Euros per year), but they give you several benefits: dedicated training slots throughout the week (with entry to the swimming pool!), the possibility of group training sessions, free entry to competitions (depending on your club), trainers who will accompany you throughout the year, access to specific training plans and more.

If you're not a member of a club, there are other ways to get hold of such a plan. Specialist triathlon magazines (Triathlete magazine, Trimag etc.) often offer different plans according to each distance and your initial level. The plans are often very comprehensive and adapted (and adaptable!) to your requirements, level and availabilities.

Psst! Soon you'll be able to find training plans directly on the Aptonia site!

If I can give you one tip when choosing your training plan: don't be over-ambitious! It's better to choose a plan that seems a little bit easier and make sure you do all the sessions than following a more demanding plan and missing every other session.

If you are a beginner you can also find our super sprint triathlon training plan directly on the Aptonia website :

2/ Management and prioritization of your training sessions

What if you can't do all the sessions in your plan? Don't panic! Just because you miss one session, it doesn't mean you won't be able to achieve your goal. I know what I'm talking about!

I often miss a session because of work meetings, a traffic jam, or simply because I'm too tired. To start with, I really thought it was the end of the world and that I would get behind with my training. But the turned out not to be the case. The important thing to remember when you're following a training plan is to identify what is known as the KEY sessions.

There are always one or two KEY training sessions per week in a training plan. Simply put, these are the essential sessions in your training plan. So, if you have to make a choice, you should prioritise these famous key sessions, because these will be the ones that will keep you on track in your training.

How can you identify these key sessions? It's easy: it's often THE big session in the week. You know, the one that sometimes scares you by its intensity or length ;-) But if you want to train properly, you'll have to do these sessions sooner or later!

If you're in a club or followed by a coach, he/she will tell you which are the key sessions that you mustn't skip. If you're training by yourself, try to choose a plan in which these famous key sessions are clearly highlighted (written in bold for example).

seances-clefs-triathlon

Here's another tip when it comes to preparing for a triathlon: did you know you're not supposed to work on all three different disciplines all at the same time? If you follow a plan, you'll notice that on any given week, the focus is on one of the three disciplines, which will allow you to organise your training sessions over the long term.

For me, I know that in my training plan I have two intense cycling sessions coming up at the end of April. As cycling is the most time-consuming of the three sports, I've decided to take a few days off work so I can concentrate on my training.

Please note: cycling is just the priority here! During the "cycling period", I will still go swimming and running ;-)

 

If you want to know more about the organisation of my training sessions and the optimization of my time, have a look at my hints and tips :

cedric-redacteur-aptonia

Cédric

I have been doing triathlons for 15 years. Triathlon is more than a mere sport; it is a way of life. I have been lucky enough to try every triathlon distance, from super sprint to long-distance.

I am a better runner than swimmer, but took part in the French 2nd Division championships, before taking on a 1st Division duathlon with my first club (TRIMOVAL).

More duathlon adventures await in the 2nd Division with my current club, Champigny But the most amazing thing for me will be achieving my dream: an Ironman: I am signed up for the Vichy Ironman, on 26 August.

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