General Discussion Triathlon Talk » How to make a training plan Rss Feed  
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2013-07-20 5:17 PM

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Subject: How to make a training plan
This has come op a few times and since I just made my plan I thought I'd share what I do...

First: Realise that creating a training plan is an iterative process, you may have to reiterate over each steps a few times when making your plan.

Second: Even the "best" plan is a guide only, not a rule. No plan can predict how you respond to the training, whether you make your own plan, a coach make one for you or you find a standard plan on the 'net, you need to review the plan as you progress through it, assess you progress and readjust the plan and your goals as necessary.

Now to make the plan:

1. Get a calendar and add all the races you might consider doing. Also, add all events you've committed to, family, vacation etc. Then go through each race and mark it as A, B or C race. An A race is what you train for where you want to peak, a B race is one you plan doing but don't train for as such and might cancel if it interferes with the A race, and C races are those that are nice to remember in case you have to cancel some other race. Beware you may have too many A-races.

2. Your training plan goes to the next A race and the recovery period after the race. There will only be one A race in your training plan. If you think you should modify your training plan to accommodate the next upcoming "A" race, then you're doing too much, one of the races isn't your A race. Write a calendar by weeks up to the A race and at least a week after for recovery.

3. Divide the weeks into the following periods: Base, race, taper, and recovery, this is the training cycle. With the exception of taper to recovery, there's a gradual shift from one period to the next. The base training should make up the bulk of the period, in base training you build strength, endurance and improve technique, during base training volume is the highest. In race training you reduce volume and focus on speed and exercises particular for racing such as sighting, OWS rather than pool, get gears tuned, get used to nutrition etc. Taper you reduce volume further and focus on rest, recovery, nutrition, maintain fitness and speed. There are no hard and fast rules as to how much time you need to set aside for each training period.

4. With each week assigned to either base, race, taper or recovery, for each week set weekly target. Avoid increasing volume in both run and bike the same week, alternate, one week keeping run volume while upping bike volume, etc. Don't worry about 3 hard + 1 easy week, it's just a general guide. Reality will tell you when it's time for an easy week, either because of some unexpected event or because your body tells you it needs a rest.

5. Write a weekly training schedule, which days you can realistically commit to do what and how much time, avoid long ride and long run back to back. Each workout should have a purpose focusing on a particular aspect: Technique, speed, endurance, strength, etc. Given this set targets for each workout and make sure they meet or exceed when summing up to the weekly target.

Review the plan, is it realistic? flexible enough to accommodate when reality shows it's ugly face and you have to cancel a workout?

Monitor weekly progress and if targets are met and review the plan periodically.

Any advice to improve this process is welcome.

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2004-11-29 12:36 PM Ron
date : June 21, 2011
author : mikericci
comments : 0
How to tweak your training plan to account for frequent races
date : February 3, 2011
author : alicefoeller
comments : 2
Scheduling workouts in the Custom Training Plan Creator for an ideal, balanced, injury-free season
date : January 20, 2011
author : Coach AJ
comments : 3
Using a high-volume schedule for many months is not the best tactic. Build speed and skill several months out, and then transition to a high-volume IM plan.
date : July 19, 2009
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This training plan has only 2 workouts per sport per week and peaks at 7.5 hours per week of training. Use this plan if you are time constrained or if you want to focus more on your family.
date : February 12, 2008
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This plan is designed to make you go faster. 3 workouts per week in each sport, 2 days of strength training and core work. The maximum volume is around 10 hours toward the end of the 12 weeks.
date : February 12, 2008
author : mikericci
comments : 1
This plan is designed to make you go faster. 3 workouts per week in each sport, 2 days of strength training and core work. The maximum volume is around 14 hours toward the end of the 10 weeks.
date : January 9, 2008
author : mikericci
comments : 1
This plan is an advanced plan in terms of volume and intensity and appropriate for someone who is looking to go under 5:00 and as fast as 4:30. There isn’t a lot of fluff in the plan.
date : July 17, 2005
author : Brandon Heflin
comments : 0
So how do you plan for a season? Below, I’ve created a simple five step process to use as a primer for season planning.