Anyone who starts triathlon training knows that they will be busy. With three different events to prepare for – swimming, biking and running – good planning is essential.
They key to successful triathlon training is to use the three different events in a complementary way, so that hard workouts from one event are offset by easier, recovery workouts in another. And somehow, amidst it all, you still need to find time to fit in regular rest days!
How much you do of each discipline will depend on the race distance you are preparing for, your base fitness levels, how much time you have available, and your own strengths and weaknesses. While it is tempting to put the most time into the part you are best at, you will usually get the best return on the time you invest by doing the opposite, and focusing on your weakest event.
For many people that will be the swim – it is the event that requires the most work on technique, and if you don’t have a swimming background, becoming relaxed and proficient in the water can be a frustrating business. If you struggle in the swim, it is worth taking the time to work with a swim coach to iron out the flaws in your technique – once your stroke is smooth, you will reap the benefits of your swim sessions.
Biking is very much about time in the saddle – although people spend thousands of pounds on triathlon bikes, a strong cyclist on a cheap bike will nonetheless fly past a weaker cyclist on the latest high tech machine.
Running performance will also reflect the miles you have done, but it is also about quality runs – every run should have a purpose, rather than simply accumulating "junk" miles. Get the balance right and you’ll have a great time on race day.