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.orgKen
5 years ago.Seeley Lake Triathalon - MontanaChristopher
5 years ago.IronMan 70.3 OceansideChris S.
5 years ago.IronMan Arizona 2016Trevor
5 years ago.Moses Lake Olympic TriDave C
5 years ago.IRONMAN 70.3 California Oceanside.BK
5 years ago.Jr National TriGary F.
5 years ago.Ironman Arizona.Sylvia Orozco
5 years ago.My "A" race is Ironman Louisville 2016.Kristin
5 years ago.Timberman 70.3 in Gilford, NHGoodie
5 years ago.Ironman 70.3 Santa CruzScott Wasem
5 years ago.Training for shaver lake triRob Bonsall
5 years ago.Steelman 5K open water swimTed
5 years ago.Kemah OlympicRicardo
5 years ago.Just starting with Meets and Competitions. So far, signed up for the 2016 Caltech Pentathlon SCY Swim Meet and will continue with more intense/advanced races later this year.Michael Hubbard
5 years ago.Ironman Louisville 2016Lisa
5 years ago.Auburn Triathlon ("Worlds Toughest Half")Mackenzie
5 years ago.Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. New year, new distanceScott B
5 years ago.Xterra American championships in Utah. I hope!!!Joshua King
5 years ago.I am training for the "A" race Priest Lake, Idaho triathlon.Jesse
5 years ago.First ever triathlon and A race ... Elkhart Lake Triathlon, 6/11/2016.Bob m
5 years ago.#IM703OHIO here I come!Andrea Ugazio
5 years ago.Ironman FloridaRoss McNary
5 years ago.Training for Ironman Louisville and my first Ultrarun; Land between the Lakes Ultra.Kelley Anz
5 years ago.I am training for the Superfrog 70.3 triathlon as my A race.Kelley Anz
5 years ago.I am training for the Superfrog 70.3 as my "A" race.Add a Comment
Name * Your Email (will not be displayed) *To prevent automated bots from spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below:
Thank you so much for this detailed review. Super helpful when pu...
Thanks for sharing the review and feedback. It really helps me al...
Love the prints and the concept of using these fabrics to create ...
Hi Julie and Swim Outlet .comYour cute face and name caught my ey...
Thanks for updating the post. Keep up the good work. I really the...