Triathlon PlanningTriathlon planning is important, especially if you’re training on a limited time budget.

With little time to spare, and hectic lives with commitments to jobs, family and social lives it is imperative to get the maximum fitness results with the least possible time invested.

You may be aware that my triathlon training plans are based on a five step solution that gets great results for the busy real-world triathlete.

With this in mind I want to share with you a little bit about triathlon planning in order to achieve your potential.

Triathlon planning is so often missed out of the picture when training for your first triathlon, or even when stepping up the challenge and upping your distance to Ironman.

Triathlon Planning – The Method

  1. Triathlon Planning – get the groundwork in, goal setting, plan your week, know what you want, define success.
  2. Fitness Assessment – How fit are you now and what do you need to do to improve?
  3. Triathlon Nutrition – Fundamental for success both in training and racing.
  4. Tri Training – A well structured and ‘stickable’ plan that is simple to follow and not so complicated or overwhelming that it becomes a chore.
  5. Race execution – even with the best plan, it can all go horribly wrong on race day… unless you have a plan for this too!

Planning Your Triathlon

Today will learn how and what to plan. It is quite simple really, but often gets left out or forgotten so I urge you to take action and start planning today, for without action, good intentions will remain just that, and like so many people you won’t achieve your goal.

Figure out your basic week:

Example schedule basic week for 9-5 Worker:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1
Swim 1 Run 1 Bike 1 Run 2 Bike 2 Bike 3
Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2
Swim 2 Swim 3 Run 3

Example schedule basic week for 3day Shift Worker:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1
Swim 1 Bike 1 Run 2 Bike 2 Bike 3
Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2
Run 1 Swim 2 Swim 3 Run 3

Your Turn:

Build Your Week (you could try a 2-week rolling week to match changing shifts). Schedule a training week that you feel will fit in well with your life commitments. Tip – It is better to create an easier plan that you can stick to, rather than plan too much, oh and you dont have to include 2x workouts daily:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1 Workout 1
Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2 Workout 2

Triathlon Equipment and Safety

  1. Get a health check and the all clear from the doctor to embark on moderate to high intensity exercise. Sort out any niggles with sports massage therapy or physiotherapy before they develop.
  2. What equipment will you need in order to achieve your goal? Is it all in working order?
  3. Log your miles your run shoes have done. Change them every 300-500 miles.
  4. Safety – is there any high-viz equipment, lights, batteries, helmet or bike service you need to get?
  5. Will you be using a heart rate monitor, gps or power meter? Are you proficient in using it?
  6. Is there any special triathlon kit needed such as a tri-suit or wetsuit?

 

Get SMART

Know what you want to achieve and define success.

Goal setting is an important step in triathlon planning because it lets you reward your success, you will know where you are aiming for and you can use it as motivation when your enthusiasm is waning.

SMART targets should be specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Break your big goal into manageable chunks. Lets use the Ironman as an example. Imagine you have only ever run 10km before. It is important not to get overwhelmed so don’t just consider running a marathon as your goal, but break it up into pieces over time.

One step at a time such as this:

1. Run 12 miles without stopping at 9:00 minute-mile by July 30th 2012.

2. Run 10km (6.2miles) with no stops at 8:30minute-mile after a 50mile bike ride by July 15th 2012.

These are all SMART targets, and yours will be very different. Spend some time on them.

SMART Targets – Your Turn:

What is your goal and what needs to be done in order to achieve it? Break it down into smaller chunks.

In order to achieve my big goal, I need to achieve the following smaller challenges:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Now make them SMART targets:

I will need to:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Inspiring Triathlon Goals:

The essential first step to success is planning goals. Make your goal inspirational and motivating, and most of all make it personal. You need this goal and reason for doing it to be extremely important to you so that you can call upon it during times of challenge in both your race and training.

What is your big goal that inspires you? You might have several:

 

Goal 1: Date: / /

 

Goal 2: Date: / /

 

Goal 3: Date / /

 

Why do you want to achieve this goal? What does it mean to you? Keep asking yourself until you find a genuinely inspiring reason to tackle your challenge. You can dig really deep if you have a genuine reason to do so!

Write it down:

What are your goals for this season?

Why are these important to you?

How will you feel once you achieve your goal?

How would you feel if you don’t achieve this goal?

 

Now Write Your Goal:

Now write your goal down as though you have completed it. Include details of how you feel, how the event went, as though you have done your perfect race!

Read it aloud to yourself and look at it every day (or at least weekly). By doing this you will make your brain believe this has happened, and you will begin to behave in ways beneficial to your success. You are more likely to succeed if you follow this step through, no matter how silly it may feel.

Here is an example: “It is Sept 2012, and I have just completed my first Ironman Triathlon. It feels amazing and….”

Now it’s your turn:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut this part out and print this off, stick it on your fridge, desk, computer, and several places and read it every day.

Have fun planning for your triathlon training. Remember failing to plan is like planning to fail. I hope this helps you with your triathlon planning. For more support take a look at the triathlon coaching team or one of my comprehensive triathlon plans. For now, happy triathlon planning! Nico.