Developing a Training Regime

Triathlon is addictive and so is training. We recognise this and want to make sure that you have the right information to develop your own training regime. Triathlon coach Nadia knows exactly how to get your training into gear.

There are so many training variations for cycling and triathlon, but the first thing to consider is not to over train – doing so will cause more harm than good.

Think you are over-training? Check your pulse!

As soon as you wake up in the morning, check your heart rate. Monitor fatigue level
Keep an eye on your resting morning heart rate in the two or three days after a hard workout. If it’s significantly elevated from its normal average (5-7 or more beats per minute), that’s could be a sign that you’re not fully recovered from the workout.

Prevent long-term over-training

If you notice your heart rate steadily increasing over a two- or three-week period, it’s quite possible you’re over-training or not scheduling enough recovery time between workouts. ⠀

Heart rate could be one of the indicators that suggest that something isn’t right, but don’t forget to take into account other factors such as quality and quantity of sleep, overall feeling (very stressed), mood, appetite, motivation to train, sore muscles. My heart rate was 59 this morning. What is yours resting HR?

Now that we’ve got the issue of over-training out of the way, it’s time to look at some training advice – how about improving your pedaling efficiency?

Pedalling Efficiency Training

Goal: improve your pedalling efficiency and power output.

First of all try to Pedal in circles, and don’t bounce in the saddle?

For the Warm up:

• 15 minutes in a small gear so that you warm the muscles and get the legs moving gently. Going hard too quickly will only lead to injuries.

Main set: High/low cadence efforts

• 2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)
• 10 mins easy riding
• 2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)

I like to do this training session on a Wattbike. It visualizes how I apply force through each pedal stroke and helps me optimize my technique with the analysis tool. Have you tried a Wattbike? Maybe you are a user of Zwift, which is great, but don’t just do virtual races, use the trainer for self-focused training sessions and you’ll get real benefits.

You can finish off things with a general ride, getting the miles in too. Now, let’s look at some basic run training tips.

Run Training

1. Include strength training
Running to a high level is hard work and uses lots of muscle groups. Strength training will ensure that you get the most out of your overall running, especially as the arms play an important role, relaxing your shoulders and helping to lift the rib cage as you get your breathing pattern sorted.

2. Warm-up and cool-down before and after all runs

Never go straight into any form of exercise. Your muscles and ligaments need to gradually warmed and stretched as your work, otherwise, yes – you’ll simply increase the possibility of injury – there’s a theme here 😉

3. Gradually increase your mileage
Nobody can go out and run a marathon, not even the great athletes. Your body need time to develop, increasing the miles and the pace in balance as you adjust.

4. Cross-training
Cross-training like cycling, swimming, or pool running can boost your aerobic fitness while promoting blood flow to your legs. It also helps motivation, keeping you focused and helps other muscle groups.

5. Include rest days
Remember that training is ultimately testing your body, so it needs time to adjust and to rest. We started this article off by focusing on over-training and there’s a good reason why – so don’t do it!

6. Have a gait analysis performed
Feet are individual and how we place our feet is likewise unique. Get your feet properly measured and analysed to see what type of gait you have, then use specialist foot beds measured for you and shoes that support your running style. Using the wrong shoes or poor foot beds will simply cause injury.

7. Wear the correct type of shoes
based on your foot type and running style

8. Listen to your body
It’ll always tell you the truth, when to slow, when to rest and when to stop… and when to train hard too!

9. Stretching. This topic has been hotly debated! Do you stretch before or after running?

If you don’t stretch after training you will get … yes, injuries. It’s simple really, you don’t want to traumatise your body, so take time to warm up before a session and to warm down and stretch afterwards. You should also build in sessions that simply focus on stretching and nothing else. Do also warm up beforehand. A warm up is always good for you, but stretching before a run can decrease power, force output and jump performance and speed. Concentrate on warming the muscles and leave the stretching to the routine at the end.

Next time we will look at some swim training, but for now try to work out your own training timetable. Your club coach or experienced friends are a good starting point. It will help to keep you focused and make sure that you do the right things too, maximising your performance.

Have fun and remember, it’s all about you and having a great time staying fit and setting yourself challenges.

Nadia X