by the Defence Forces Triathlon Association’s Head Coach, Derek Nugent
Hello folks, I hope your training is going to plan and that you have entered our fantastic event, the Waterways Ireland TriAthlone.
Right, this week I’m going to go through 5 common mistakes that new to the sport (and sometimes not so new) triathletes make;
1. DIDN’T SET A GOAL
Whoops. If you haven’t set a goal then your training just to train, but will run short when it comes to achieving that PB or goal. If your following this training program then your goal is obviously Saturday the 30th of June, our fantastic event in Athlone. Setting goals is important because you will have something that you can realistically work towards, and measure your success when you get to the start line ready for business.
When you train for an event you find that your fitness levels get better and you seem to end up doing other events on the road to that first big one you chose. Here’s the rub, you end up racing as hard as you know how for all these “mini” events and this is what could eventually lead to you falling short for the race that was supposed to be your top goal. If every little run/race is approached as a critical event then you run out of steam and can’t peak for the big one. Yeah, that means you can only be at your average, not best. So keep the goals and priority in check and see your race day results raise dramatically!
3. TRAINING WHAT WE’RE GOOD AT, NOT THE STUFF WE ARE BAD AT
So, maybe, just maybe, you used to swim but suck at running (or cycling, or weight lifting etc) so you focus on doing well at the sport or discipline that you are strong at and kind of leave the stuff that you aren’t so strong at to one side, relegated to that one session a week that you do only because you have to and you hate it? This is the wrong way to go at your training. You need to work at what your bad at, as this is where the real benefits are. Your weak link is always going to be your weak link, so work on improving that. Paying lip service to your weak discipline whilst you run or bike because they are easier perhaps for you to do is the wrong choice. Work on that weak link to see real improvements.
4. GOING AS FAST AS YOU CAN FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN
Doing to much hard work when you are new to the sport, or any sport, is a sure fire way to burn out. Simply put, you need to look at getting aerobically fit in your first season and then look at looking at going faster. this aerobic conditioning will set you nicely for the next year and will go to great lengths to seeing you injury free and fit for purpose. You need to get used to your training, riding, hills, running and so on before we look at getting faster. If you try to go at 100% all the time your going to find out quickly that this is not really feasible. So enjoy your training, speed will come in good time.
5. NOT ENOUGH REST
I’ve left this one until last as its really one of the most common ones. You will need to train, but more importantly you will need to rest up appropriately for the benefits of your training to take hold. Rest is needed weekly and this is reflected in the program that I am writing for you. Also, after any extended training, say 3-4 weeks a period of a few days of reduced training is also beneficial. Its also recommended that you take 2 periods of proper downtime per year two, best done at the end of the season (after the last race) and I like to rest up to around Christmas.
Hope this helps
Week 6: Increased effort week.
- Monday Rest
- Tuesday 30min Z2 swim
- Wednesday A.M Bike 45mins Z1 P.M Run 25mins Z2
- Thursday A.M 30min Z1 swim P.M Gym (S&T)
- Friday Rest
- Saturday (Brick) Bike 30min Z1 then run straight of bike 20mins Z2
- Sunday Rest