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For many triathletes, the spring season is an interesting time to train and get ready for the next triathlon.
Nevertheless, it’s a fact that you have to spend plenty of months in preparation just to get ready for your next triathlon. But what kind of training do you really need to keep a substantial fitness base during the spring? Come and read more from this post for you to find out.
Spring is the season when the difficulty of your training will really begin. Most likely, you should have started your initial base period from December or January and went from there to develop certain fitness that you need to perform on long-distance triathlons.
The Importance Of Optimum Aerobic Function
By now, you should have reached your optimum aerobic heart rate that will allow you to make significant gains in the triathlon races. On the other hand, you should keep in mind not to do too much of high-intensity workouts (which is a common mistake among triathletes) or you would feel energized one moment and lose more energy the next.
By improving your body’s aerobic function, you will be confident enough to fulfill your goals if you’re aiming to join the half-Ironman, full Ironman, or Olympic distance races.
Take note though that even if you reach your optimum aerobic function, it would be useless if you don’t have a strong base to go with it. That is, you should start “tuning” yourself during the winter so you can focus on preparing yourself to reach your peak performance during the spring. During winter you can easily maintain your fitness with an elliptical trainer, treadmill running trainer or an indoor bike trainer.
The “Brick Workout”
You can also try the “Brick Workout” which is an exercise strategy wherein you make use of two disciplines on the same workout routine alternating them one after another with little or no interval in between. You can do this best by starting a swim and bike or a run and bike routine. For example, you can bike for five miles and run the one mile and do four repeats of it.
The principle behind this is that doing this kind of workout will condition your body to prepare itself for the next workout demand that you might put it to while you are still recovering from your last routine. In short, a brick workout effectively utilizes your body’s aerobic and anaerobic capacity together with your body’s muscular demands, which are the three important things you need on long-distance triathlon races.
Practical Workouts To Try
If you are unsure how to start your spring training for the triathlon race, here are some minimalist exercises that you can try.
If you’re opting for strength training, swimming is the best type of exercise to do it. Practice short yet hard and race pace swims with short rests for intervals. You can allot one day to perform a “long” swim – that shouldn’t take you more than 60 minutes to do.
Indoor bike training
While biking on trails is more common, you can also lock yourself inside your house and perform an intense indoor bike session a week especially if biking outside is not possible. Indoor biking can help you maximize your biking exercise and you can switch your workouts using different sessions like Computrainer, Spinervals, or Sufferfest for 40 minutes to an hour.
You can get a bike resistance trainer (also called bike rollers or bike trainer) and place your race / triathlon bike on it. In this way you can train as much as you want independent on weather etc. You can buy a good bike trainers on Amazon.
If you can’t resist cycling outdoors, you should plan a long ride about once a week. A long outdoor bike ride constitute to 2-5 hours’ worth of trip depending on how close you are training for the race already. You should also try biking alone instead of in groups since the latter takes more time to assemble. The biggest plus you might find doing this is that you can concentrate more on your training than when you would biking in groups.
Run – but not too long
Yes, you read it right. Anaerobic exercise enhances your aerobic fitness so if you want to do this right, don’t run too long like for 2 or more hours of your time. In fact, short runs can last you just 30 minutes and still provide you the training you need. How? You can try doing 12 run repeats on 200-m distances.
If you observe Ironman triathletes, some of the best are lightly “beefier” than others. This is because according to several research studies, strength training helps improve endurance and race performance especially for runners and cyclists. Weekly, you can do at least one or two sessions of strength training.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget having the right diet. All your trainings would be useless if you don’t eat right. And with that said, you can now start doing your spring training for your next triathlon.
Reaching For Your Peak Performance
After achieving your body’s aerobic function, your next step is to get ready for intense training. This will allow you to reach peak performance but you should remember to conduct intense anaerobic exercises properly for the best benefits. Not doing so will only lead you to feeling fatigue and burnout and worse, an injury that might deter you from joining the race.
There are different kinds of anaerobic workouts that you can try depending on your preference. It could be a matter of hill repeats, group rides, time trials, intervals, etc. What you just really need to do your anaerobic exercise with ease is to establish a strong and firm aerobic base first so that you will reap all the benefits.
Another practical thing you can do is to do workouts which will test your performance just like how you will do it during the race. That is, if you want to make sure that your anaerobic exercises are effective and efficient, then you can always do it in two ways; you either work out long and take a short rest or you do speed workouts and get plenty of rest.
When conducting intense anaerobic training, here are the four things you need to remember:
Always follow the 10 percent rule
This only means that the time you should spend on anaerobic or intense exercises should only be 10 percent of your total exercise time every week.
Always make sure that you have a strong aerobic base
You’d know this by feeling energized and strong when you train or when your MAF test results continually improves.
Always prepare your body physically and mentally
Condition your mind to want to train so you’re not forcing yourself to do anything you don’t want to.
Always take a break between anaerobic exercises
It won’t do you any good if you try to do too much intense training without giving yourself time to breathe and relax.
After pushing yourself to workout intensely, which lasts around six weeks, give yourself a rest period of two weeks by cutting back on workout frequency and time spent on exercise.
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