Training for an upcoming triathlon is an art, but one which may be mastered. For optimal results and to minimize risk of injury, elite triathletes recommend planning training in 12-16-week blocks leading up to the big race season.
A typical, high-level training schedule in the preceding 12 weeks may be broken down like this:
Week 1 & 4: 8 Hours Training Week 2 & 3: 10 Hours Training Week 5 & 8: 11 Hours Training Week 6 & 7: 13 Hours Training Week 9 & 10: 15 Hours Training Week 11: 10 Hours Training Week 12: 5 Hours Training Week 13: Race!
To minimize risk of injury it is important to slowly ramp up training, before steadily decreasing intensity in the few weeks before the big event. It is imperative you listen to your body throughout your training program. Whilst every athlete will inevitably undertake varied training programs, a typical week for triathlete Sam Seaton may look something like this:
Monday: Easy 60 Minute Swim Tuesday: Easy 90 Bike Ride with Interval Efforts Wednesday: Harder 60 Swim with Interval Efforts Thursday: Hard 90 Minute Bike Ride with Interval Efforts Friday: 60 Minute Strength Based Swim Saturday: 4 Hour Easy Ride plus 30 Minute Run Sunday: Long 90 Minute Run
To achieve optimal results throughout a triathlon season, Seaton recommends sitting down in the off-season and dividing your races into three distinct categories.
Race Category A
This is the ultimate goal.
Race Category B
The events leading up to the main event. These races enable you to dial in your strategy and experiment with optimal race nutrition. Here, any tweaks that need to be made ought to be tested.
Race Category C
Fun! It is imperative to ensure fun, pressure-free events are included in your training program that increase experience and fitness levels.
Ensuring Adequate NutritionAt the elite level, diet and nutrition is considered to be equally important as the overall training regime. Sam tells us he will follow a rather flexible but healthy meal plan as the triathlon season approaches. The plan includes a deluge of overnight oats, which have become a household staple! In the 3 days prior to the big race, Seaton recommends decreasing gluten intake and increasing electrolyte intake. This ensures your body is clean and ready to hurt!
It is important to remember to treat yourself here and there. Whilst Sam will generally stick to a meat and vegetable diet throughout the year, he is not afraid to treat himself to that large takeaway pizza to increase those calories after a tough training week!
In-race nutrition should be tried and tested throughout training and preliminary events. Sam found that supplements that did not contain fructose worked the best for him, given he suffers with a sensitive stomach. It is a balancing act to find the perfect equilibrium between calories and hydration. Sam endeavors to keep these two separate so consumption can be more easily measured.
Achieving those goals is aided by the 3 D’s – Drive, Diet and Discipline!
Accepting the riskMore often than not, triathlons and cycling events will have obvious risks involved. When we voluntarily engage in these types of athletic events, we should know there is a possibility we could get hurt or injured. Whether you’re injured from colliding with another competitor or participating in the event itself, it’s accepted as part of the event.
Under the law, this gives rise to a defence for negligence known as voluntary assumption of risk. If you’re injured through the ordinary course of the event, you can still bring a claim for compensation. However, the defendant can argue that by partaking in said event, you were fully aware of the risk of injury and freely choose to accept it.
This article was written by Samuel Seaton, Triathlete and owner of Fitstop Morningside.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: October 16, 2019.