3 Rules to Ramp Up Your Training

Are you antsy to kick things up a notch and strengthen your triathlon foundation? Here, Dave Scott discusses three things to consider before increasing mileage, so you can do so safely and effectively.

More: When Can Triathletes Increase Running Mileage?

Rule #1: Consider your susceptibility to injury.

First and foremost, you shouldn't start to build miles until you've been base training for six to eight weeks (assuming that you have been consistently training through the offseason).

Beyond that, the first thing to consider is whether or not you have a trigger point for injury. Ask yourself if you are more susceptible to injury when you get up in miles. The calf, the medial side of the knee and the hips are often hot spots.

More: 9 Tips to Avoid Injuries All Season Long

Injuries often manifest themselves two to four weeks after you've built up the miles or increased intensity, and it's not necessarily right after a workout. Think about how your body responded to the build up period in the past and adjust your training accordingly. 

If you are prone to injuries, consider increasing your distance over the course of two training days during the week, not just reserving it for the weekends.

More: Why You Should Stop Running Long on Sundays 

For example, use Wednesday and Saturday or Thursday and Sunday to grow your miles. This can actually help you increase miles faster than if you were to do it all on one day.

Rule #2: Increase mileage at a reasonable rate.

A comfortable weekly allotment is somewhere between 7 to 10 percent based on your background and training history.

Example:

  • You are currently running 40 minutes on Thursday and 60 minutes on Sunday for a total of 100 minutes.
  • A 10 percent increase for that week would bring you up to 110 minutes.
  • Split that between the two days bringing Thursday up to 44 minutes and Sunday to 66 minutes.
More: The 4 Phases of Training

Rule #3: Engage intermediate and fast twitch muscle fibers.

Simply put, you have slow twitch, intermediate and fast twitch muscle fibers. You are always using your slow twitch muscle fibers. Even when you are doing your faster work, there is some firing of the slow twitch fibers. If you do all your workouts at the same speed, however, you do not utilize the faster twitch muscles.

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