If you’re an endurance sport “junkie” training is part of your everyday routine. The time you spend training is not just something you do, it’s something you invest your time in. I can think of no other investment that is more important than your health and time. It does not matter if your investment is for physical pleasure, mental pain or absolute performance, but we invest our time and we want our investment to pay off.
As with investing money our ‘training investment” needs to follow some triathlete training guidelines or rules in order for it to pay the best dividends. I use the following set of rules as a coach and athlete.
CCD (Consistency, Compromise, Doubts)
Train with consistency. You can training everyday or 3x per week but be consistent and train without compromise. If you train properly you’ll have no doubt about performance on race day. Proper race execution begins every morning when you wake up, not just on the day of the race.
Do the FREAKING Work (DFW).
DFW= Just “Do the Freaking Work”. Sometimes it’s just doing the work, not over thinking it, not analyzing it, not questioning it. Just put your head down and DFW.
You don’t overtrain, you UNDER recover.
Repeat this everyday. YOU DONT OVERTRAIN, YOU UNDER RECOVER . Recovery is what allows your body to repair and build so you can keep on training, and it’s during recovery from sessions where you adapt and improve. Plan recovery with the same diligence as you plan training.
Follow the Plan
Hope is not a PLAN. Have a plan. A good strategy is to define your end goal. You can do this by visualizing your preferred race time and then reverse engineering how you’re going to get there.
The 72 hour rule
Consider your training in relation to what you did yesterday, what your doing today and what you have to do tomorrow. In other words, think in 72 hour increments. Plan for consistency day by day, week by week, month by month
TUF – Technique Under Fatigue
Victory goes to the one who’s slowed down the least, not the fastest. Think about the little things like “Key Words” and trigger words. Practice your technique during practice especially during the harder sets.
Train to meet the specific demands of your sport. I have never met a triathlete who has won a race swimming in a pool or running on a track. Know what courses you race, what training you need to do and be as specific as possible
When things are going well, be smart.
If you’re having a great day / week / month of training, don’t be tempted to do more and/or harder training. Stick to the plan (see rule 4) and be consistent. Single training sessions don’t make champions – consistency does.
Metabolic vs. Structural conditioning.
If your metabolic fitness (ie, aerobic capacity) exceeds your structural fitness (ie, muscles, bones, tendons, etc) then be careful to only train as hard as the weakest aspect can cope with, so you don’t break down.
Know your sport, Know yourself.
Learn about your sport, it’s history, the events, equipment, training methodologies, other athletes. Know yourself, your strengths, limiters and goals. The greater your understanding of the sport and it’s intricacies the better your grasp on how YOU can best prepare for and race.
Be yourself, be your best.
Be honest and humble, treat every session as an opportunity to improve and learn more about yourself and the sport. Don’t make excuses, don’t let yourself off the hook, don’t give less than your best.
Quality vs Quantity.
Train with an objective. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, or you think they are doing FOCUS on the quality of your training, your needs what works for you.
There is no answer, There is no end.
Sport is an on-going journey of learning about yourself. No one has the best answer for you. You are a work in progress and the more you know about yourself the better. You’ll be able to decide what is best for you. We encourage your to keep on experimenting, experiencing and learning. Enough failures in practice will lead you to a victory when it counts, no one wins without the hard earned lessons of failure.
These are but a few “rules” you can certainly make up some of your own but for me and the athletes I coach these are the guidelines I preach everyday and every session.
Set some guidelines for your self and see if it helps keep you on task.
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