Training changes from 2017-2018

2016 was my most successful triathlon season to date. Changing job and trying to focus on swim improvements meant I made a number of changes to my training in 2017.

  1. Run training in the early mornings
  2. Joined a swimming club and swam more than ever before
  3. Swimming 4 times per week, in the evenings and Saturday and Sunday
  4. Bike training only 3x per week

This was not as successful as I hoped, so this year I have reverted to my old training schedule as much as possible. This means:

  • Swimming as little as possible 🙂

I have gone back to swimming 3x per week, but this year I am swimming alone again, for 1 hour before work twice a week. When I was swimming with the swim squad I felt like I was spending too much time in the pool (up to 6 hours per week) and not training specifically enough for triathlon. Now 1 weekday session is mainly technique and the other is mainly speed. At the weekend I have been swimming a longer swim (now up to 4km). I also had swim analysis with Gabriela Minarikova from Swim Smooth Czech Republic twice in the autumn, which I thoroughly recommend if you can’t spend time working with her (or Swim Smooth anywhere!) regularly. They were the most useful 2 hours I have ever spent in the pool and it has helped me focus on my technique very much, especially in the off-season and when I started back to training properly.

  • Biking 4 times per week

Last year I swapped out my 4th bike ride for a 4th swim but when the season came round I felt badly prepared. This winter I followed a higher volume Trainerroad plan (I like the Sweet Spot base plans) and then a high volume half ironman build plan, which I have enjoyed, although as soon as the weather warms up I start modifying the long bike ride and the easy bike ride on the plan to allow me to ride these outside. I do the vo2 max and usually any above or near threshold intervals on my turbo trainer year round – I do not have time to ride my bike outside in the week.

  • Running, 1 short interval, 1 longer interval and 1 long run

I structured my running training better, this was for a number of reasons (my wife started taking my kids to school some days so I could run and go to work later 🙂 ), the winter wasn’t as cold and icy and last but not least, I decided to run speed sessions indoors when the weather was too bad to run them outside.

The final change I made this year was to use my Stryd footpod to structure a running program, which I have found very beneficial. This meant that instead of using pace or heart rate for running, I have only been using power – and I have really enjoyed it.

In a typical week I usually did some 2-4 min uphill v02 max intervals @ up to 105% power, some longer intervals up to 10-20 mins @ around 90-95%, and a long run which I tried to keep in my zone 1 or low zone 2, sometimes with a fast finish or a harder portion in the middle. I have found it very useful and would recommend to anyone.

I am going to write another post about my experience with Stryd and what made me initially buy one.

  • Added 1-2 short strength sessions per week

On the advice of a running coach, I recently added a couple of short strength sessions, I don’t think they will have time to make much impact on my fitness yet but we will have to see how that goes!

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