How to Plan a Triathlon Season
by Evan Rudd, SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team
If you’re thinking about jumping into a triathlon this year, a little planning will go a long way toward making sure you’re rested and ready to tackle a multi-sport event. Whether your goal is simply to finish your first triathlon or claim a spot on the podium, tailoring your training to peak at your target race is critical.
Pick Your Races
Most triathletes will peak for one or two races a year, meaning they will enter the race fully rested after months of hard training for a specific course. For example, if the course features an abundance of hills, it would be wise to practice running and biking on hills more often than flat roads and trails. These peak races are also called “A” races and are the most important events on your calendar. Your training plan should be focused on these events and most triathletes will schedule their A race four to 12 months away. It’s helpful to work backwards once you’ve picked your A race to make ensure you show up on race day in the best shape possible.
You can use additional events as “B” races that will help simulate race conditions. The difference between an A race and B race is the amount of rest you take before the event. For example, you want to enter an A race fully rested in order to turn in your best performance. You may “train through” a B race, thinking about it more as a hard workout than an actual race. Even with this mindset, it’s still important to take time to recover from hard efforts.
Periodization Training Method
The periodization method of training involves specific types of training to meet a desired goal. This is a very broad definition, but this method is designed to build your body’s ability to handle specific loads that increase over time. Equally important to the stress you put on your body is the amount of rest you take to recover. The amount and type of rest you need will depend on your level of fitness and intensity of your training plan. You may need several rest days a week if you’re just starting out, or one rest day a month if you have a strong athletic background. Wherever you’re starting, it is imperative to incorporate planned rest into your training plan. Think about each week and month as its own training block. You need to plan rest days within your week and rest weeks within each month. This will help you avoid the plateau effect, which occurs when you do the same training load for an extended period without much variation.
A taper is a period of rest before an event designed to help you perform at your absolute best. As a general rule, the longer the race the longer the taper. Some Ironman athletes begin their taper three weeks before their race, decreasing training volume significantly each week. For an Olympic or sprint distance triathlon, you may only need a day or two of rest before your race. Tapering is also an important part of your mental preparation because it allows you to reflect on all the hard work you’ve done simply to get to the start line of your race. This positive reflection can yield huge payoffs and will increase your confidence allowing you to fully enjoy your race. This is especially important when considering that the true winner is not the person who crosses the line first, but the person who has the most fun!
Win an Orca 3.8 Wetsuit!
To enter for a chance to win an Orca 3.8 Wetsuit, simply tell us what "A" race you are training for this year in the comments below and you'll be entered. One entry per person. Must be received by 11:59pm on February 29. One winner selected at random.Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: firstname.lastname@example.orgJohn K
5 years ago.My A race this year is the Superiorman in Duluth MN which is after the Brewhouse Tri! Both amazing races in northern mn!Isabelle G
5 years ago.HarryMan Triathlon, Stony Point, New York!!Sarah M
5 years ago.My A "race" is to thru-hike the Colorado Trail. Triathlons and open water swims will be my side action this year ;)Katherine Mazza
5 years ago.1/2 IM San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 2016!!! Counting the days to my first 1/2! =DJoseph Sierra
5 years ago.Onion Man Triathlon, Walla Walla, Washington!Brandon
5 years ago.My A race is every summer called the can-do triathlon I'm been doing it every year for the pass four years now and I've been getting better each year, the race involves a 800m swim, 10mile bike, and a 5k run. I absolutely love this race! My training includes a 2mile swim, a 26mile bike, and a 13mile run every day until 3 days until race day. Do this race has made a stronger person and preparing me for bigger races in the future!alexander
5 years ago.IM 70.3 ArizonaJL Vargas
5 years ago.I'm training for the Pinehurst International and White Lake OlympicRachel Henry
5 years ago.Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon!! Woot WootEd Pacheco
5 years ago.Haines City Florida IronmanTamieka
5 years ago.I am entering the triathlon ring with my 1st being Savage Man 20 in deep creek md.Brook Wheeler
5 years ago.Ironman WisconsinRony
5 years ago.My "A" race this year will be Redondo Beach TriNatalie
5 years ago.triathlonJuha J
5 years ago.Finntriathlon Joroinen 70.3, number one event in Finland.Nick
5 years ago.Nicetri st Neots Olympic TriEd Shifflett
5 years ago.IMChoo (Chattanooga)Jorge Martines
5 years ago.Ironman Wisconsin!El Guapo
5 years ago.Swim for life in the Chester River 2.4Zach
5 years ago.Ironman 70.3 Arizona!!chris arne
5 years ago.IM WisconsinTimmy yorke
5 years ago.I am training for a triathlon that is coming in spring.Brett Andersen
5 years ago.I'm training for the doxa threelay in utah. Im also going to do a local one for my city. I'm confident i could do really well. Especially with a new suit.Victor M.
5 years ago.My "A" race is Oakland Tri festival.Add a Comment
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