Triathletes train for 3 sports, swim, bike and run. Our sport takes time and energy and all of us have our strengths and weaknesses. How much time do you spend on each sport? How efficient are you at each discipline? These are all good questions and the answers may vary for each individual. The more experienced triathlete will sit down and have a good plan for each week, with Key Workouts for each given day. The Kain Team Monthly Members get a training plan for each week, with very specific Key Workouts for each day.
Here are a few things I have learned over my 29 years of training for Triathlons and also juggling a work/family/social schedule.
1) Each day have a Key Workout.
What is a Key Workout?
In Triathlon Terms, a “Key Workout” is the “focused” workout of the day. You have three sports to train for and can’t be fresh for all three, all the time! One day your “key workout” may be a swim workout, one day it may be a bike workout, one day it may be a run workout and then other days it may be a Bike/Run Brick workout. You can’t always be fresh for every workout, as any triathlete knows. But you can be fresh for many, if you plan the training right.
Most athletes we work with have to work and have families and time is a precious commodity. You have to make the most of your time! Have a plan going into each week and stick to it as best you can. If you are following the Kain Performance Training Plan, then you know what your “Key Workout” should be for a given day. It is always best to do the Key Workout first, then the second workout IF time and energy allow.
Here is an example:
On Friday, KP Training Plan says to Swim for up to 1 hour and gives a specific workout to follow, or says do a Masters Swim workout. The Workout will say “Key Workout”, or will be listed first on your Workoutlog. Do this workout first if possible. You will have better energy and can have better focus.
Then, if time and energy, do the second workout of the day… Second Workout – Bike – 1 hour recovery ride. Workoutlog will give specifics and say, if time and energy allow. Do this workout if you have the time and you have some good energy. Do NOT do this workout if you are very tired, or fatigued from the first workout, or from the training completed throughout the week.
Some days you may have to do the second workout, before doing the “Key Workout” of the day. (You may swim in the morning with a Masters group, but your Key Workout is a bike ride, which you can’t do until later in the day). If that is the case, then do the swim workout, but don’t go too hard and save some good energy for the later workout. Be sure and plan your nutrition for before, during and after your Key Workout. Training for three sports can be tough to juggle. You also need to be good about your nutrition throughout the day.
2) Participate in regular Group Workouts. (like KP Saturday workout) .
Group workouts are a great way to stay motivated and to be pushed to the next level. You may find that some group workouts get going fast and you want to seed yourself accordingly. You may also want to plan on using a group workout to help motivate and push yourself, but also know that it is OK to slow it down and go at your own pace. Early season is more about building your base endurance and not so much about high intensity. As you start to build your base and get closer to the race season, the intensity will continue to grow. Your fitness will improve, but give it some time.
Don’t worry if you aren’t as fit as you were at the end of last year, work hard and it will improve.
3) What about Rest and Recovery?
Everyone should include a rest day at least once a week. The scheduled rest day for the KP Team is every Monday. It is OK to do a light swim workout, or a YogaSource class on your rest day, just keep the heart rate down and take the entire day off, if you are feeling overly tired, rundown, or sore. Getting a massage every 2-3 weeks is also a good thing to do to help with recovery.