6 Tips to Building a Smart Triathlon Training Program

This is the time of the year where the triathlete must begin to construct a game plan to have a successful season. Without this game plan, an athlete will not attain the performance they are looking for. Adhere to the tips below to make this season your best yet.

Create a Blueprint

A blueprint gives you direction. Without direction, you randomly train which does not lead you to ultimate performance.

This blueprint will help guide you to performance gains. At any given time, you can rearrange or modify this blueprint to make sure you are taking steps forward. In this plan, schedule in your workouts, races, family trips, work-related appointments, etc. (basically your life priorities) so you can plan your training schedule accordingly.

In this plan, schedule in all of your top priority races. Arrange and develop your training schedule around these important races so you are in peak shape going into them. Strategically add in lower priority races to the plan to help you prepare, practice and assess your fitness.

One of the biggest mistakes I see triathletes make is that every race is an "A" race. This is a recipe for subpar performance. Be laser-focused on 2 to 3 races in a year. These are your top races. Every other race is tactfully planned to help build your fitness so you are more prepared for your "A" races.

Your individual blueprint can be a major tool to reaching personal bests.

More: How Many Triathlons Can You Do in a Season?

Focus on Recovery

Ample recovery allows adaptation to the strenuous stress you put on the body. When you supply stress to the body (also known as training), you rebuild and get stronger during recovery. The training stress is important but the recovery portion is just as critical as this is when the body improves.

If you have stress at work or in your home life, be wise with how much exercise stress you are supplying. Stress is stress, and if you pile it on, your body and mind will overwork, thus leading to overtraining and lack of performance.

In your normal weekly routine, first implement a complete rest day. This day should be a non-stressful/less-busy day where you can spend time off your feet truly resting the body. Every third or fourth week of training, decrease your normal weekly training volume by approximately 40 percent to allow full recovery to happen. If you get hurt, you cannot train and if you cannot train you will not improve in the sport.

Focusing on recovery will allow more effort and energy in your overall plan.

More: 3 Post-Race Recovery Tips for Triathletes

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