Reviewing and Revising
Regardless of how well
you did last year; you can still make improvements for the
triathlon season is over, and the year will soon be coming
to a close. So, did you reach all of your goals for this
past season? Were you 90% effective? 80%? 50%?
Regardless of how well you did last year; you can
still make improvements for the next season. Review your
goals from last year and build on those successes to set new
ones. “ How is this done?” you may say.
Well read on and find out just how simple this
process can be.
you need to find out if your goals were attainable or not.
Did you merely set your goals too high/low or did you make
mistakes in training that made you less successful?
Reviewing your training log best does this. On a sheet of
paper list your years training goals on the left and your
training cycles on the right. Now you can objectively see
if your training and goals lined up. Did you put in the
appropriate amount of training to reach your goals? Was
your training specific enough to reach your goals? This is
a simple way of learning what you need to do to achieve
your goals for the next season.
you need to revise your goals for the 2003 season.
Regardless if your goals are to improve your swim times,
record a sub 2:30 Olympic distance race, or finish an
iron distance event; you need to start with that goal and when you
hope to accomplish it. For example, Lisa wants to improve
her Olympic distance PR. Her previous PR was 2:50 and her
goal was 2:25. She finished her best race this past season in 2:35, a
15-minute improvement! Looking back over last year’s
goal, Lisa decides a 2:25 was a bit of a lofty goal for
her in one year. Her goal for next season is to improve to 2:25, one
that she feels is attainable for her.
how does Lisa go about achieving her goals? First she has
too break up her training schedule into cycles. A
macro-cycle is the whole triathlon season. A mini-cycle
usually consists of a base phase, speed phase, race phase
and a maintenance phase. A micro-cycle is essentially your
weekly training within each phase of training. Lisa needs
to pick out some races during the year, which she can key
on, and some, which she can train through. Her “A”
races are races she wishes to compete well in and/or
achieve her PR. Lisa’s “B” races are races which she
will train through to gain race experience and gauge her
She Chooses 2 “A”
races for the year and 4 “B” races. One of her “A”
races will be the Stud Woman Triathlon on May 19th
and the other is her regional qualifier for Nationals on
comes the real work. It is essential that Lisa set up her
cycles so that her best performances fall on May 19th
and September 4th.
So, we want to back up about 16 weeks prior to her
first “A” race. She will put in 10 weeks of base
mileage followed by 6 weeks of speed and race specific
workouts. Her 6-week speed period should even include one
or two of her “B” races if she so desires. The race
phase is a shorter period that includes time to taper and
recover from her “A” race effort, usually 2 weeks for
this race distance. After
the Stud Woman Triathlon, Lisa will go into a maintenance
phase. Now, this doesn’t mean she can slack off. She can
include quality sessions during this phase, but the really intense sessions
will be saved for the speed cycle.
From here the cycle is essentially a
actually amount and type of training done during each
micro cycle is up to Lisa and her coach. This part of the
scheduling is part science and part art. That is why it is
a good idea to obtain the services of a coach or someone
more experienced than you to help out. For example, you
probably don’t want to put a hard interval session on
the bike the day before a run session on the track. When
you get into the day to day business of training, you will
be happy to have a guide to help you get the most out of
your time instead of logging “junk” mileage. Having
your yearly schedule easily accessible on the desktop of
your computer or in a handy binder is also a plus. This
way you will not only have it handy, but also be able to
spot mistakes or plan for setbacks. It is definitely the
best way to follow and analyze your progress during and
after the season to make sure you reach your goals.
word about recovery. It is always a good way to schedule
easy days/weeks into your plan. Most athletes I know like
to sandwich an easy day in between their quality bike and
run sessions for the week. Personally, I also liked
scheduling a recovery week every 4th week in my
plan. I would back my intensity off by about 25% and my
distances by about 30-40% during this week.
I think this is essentially crucial when you are
preparing for the longer distance races.
is a very simplistic view of how to periodize your
training. Hopefully, it will encourage you to analyze your
training program in order to squeeze the most out of every
mile. Both newbie and veteran alike can benefit from this
system. Good luck in your upcoming season. I hope you achieve all your