Let's Learn to Train
You wouldn’t think that the sport of Triathlon is dangerous or could be hazardous to your health, but in our combined 30+ years of coaching and as athletes ourselves, the rate of injury and illness caused by training is far too high.
Unfortunately, the exact percentage of triathletes who suffer a chronic training injury or illness has been difficult to quantify for researchers for obvious reasons.
The published research and literature reviews we’ve reviewed presents a rate of injury ranging between 35% – 91%.
In our experience, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing when it comes to training, you’re almost guaranteed to suffer some form of injury and/or illness.
Not only does it SUCK to be sick or injured but it will also significantly impact your performance on race day from a lack of training consistency. The worst thing to have to do in your athletic career is to miss a race, not complete a race or cross the finish line with a feeling of disappointment that you could have done better.
"rate of injury ranging between 35% - 91%
So if you’re ready, let’s ensure this doesn’t happen to you. You’re going to show up to your next race healthy, confident and when you cross that finish line, you’re going to feel proud of your accomplishment!
First we’re going to outline some core principals we’re going to cover right off the top when you click through to the next page. Then we’ll dig deeper into the training program and how to get up and running…no pun intended…
#1 Do You Have Your S#!T Together?
Training for a Triathlon is no joke! It’s a huge advantage to have some form of stability in your life as the key to success is training consistency. When you complete your Athlete Profile and Application…(yes, you will have to complete a short application. We do our best to accept as many people as possible but the reality is that this training program is not suited for everyone.)
…Anyway, when you complete your profile and application, there will be a section that will help you identify your training barriers and brainstorm ideas on how to maintain your training consistency. The harsh reality is that, “Life Happens” and whether planned or unexpected, there will be disruptions to your training.
It’s not a question of IF you’ll get derailed, it’s a question of WHEN! Everyone has setbacks that disrupt training momentum but the best athletes know how to accept the disruption, use it to their advantage and get back to training ASAP. It’s natural and very easy to get down on yourself when you miss a workout or a string of workouts. We’re going to give you the tools to help organization your life and use goal-setting strategies to keep you on track, or get back on track during inconsistent training phases.
#2 Are You Mobile?
This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Pretty much everyone can move, but do you move well? Do you have the correct flexibility, range of motion, stability, muscle activation and strength to support your endurance training?
As a result of our current lifestyle, most people do not possess the required physical attributes mentioned above to make the successful transition to “Athlete” or maintain the life of an athlete for the long-term.
Even if you’ve done quite a bit of training already, if you haven’t made mobility the focus and backbone of your training, I can almost guarantee that you’ll never reach your full athletic potential and most likely become injured along your training journey. If you have minimal to no training experience and you think you can just go out and start swimming, biking and running to prepare for your first or next triathlon, I can again almost guarantee you will experience an injury or illness that will derail your training and potentially inhibit your ability to even compete in your big race.
We’re going to start by teaching you how to do a full mobility assessment on yourself, identify areas of need and how to improve your overall mobility to ensure your longevity as an athlete and maximize your performance potential.
…starting to sound pretty good right!?
#3 Are You Applying the Appropriate Training Stress and Recovery?
Hormesis — the process by which your body responds positively to something up to a certain dose and negatively beyond that dose. That “something” can be a drug, supplement, food but it can also be something like exercise. In short, your health in general and your fitness in particular depend on your staying within different hormetic zones.
The main point is that more is not always better. As athletes, we need to shift our mindset and let our bodies tell our brains what to do for a change. Our brains are very good at executing the mantra of “no pain, no gain!” or “More training the better!” The problem is that your body suffers the brunt of your brains “motivation” and there is a point where your body will tell your brain that enough is enough.
The key is listening to your body before it needs to escalate and communicate it’s message through an injury or illness because at that point, it’s too late.
This idea of balance exists in all aspects of our life.
- You must get sufficient sunlight (notably to synthesize enough vitamin D), but not too much (or you will suffer skin damage and risk developing skin cancer.
- You should eat various fruits and vegetables and not rely too much on one kind of plant food, since phytochemicals, the biologically active compounds in plants, “may have health benefits or adverse health effects, depending on the dosage.
- You need to eat enough to satisfy your body’s needs, but not so much as to become overweight.
- You could try intermittent fasting (limiting your eating window can promote weight loss and, through a process called autophagy, general health), but fasting for too long can have adverse effects.
And of course: • You need to exercise hard enough and long enough to promote adaptation, but overtraining means sabotaging your gains and endangering your health.
#4 Are You Starting Your Training at the Right Volume and Intensity?
It’s very important that your starting point is where you “are” now in terms of fitness, not where you want to be. After you determine your starting point you can then calculate how quickly you can add stress to your body while maintaining your health.
Now it might be time for a wake-up call. If you want to do this right and execute a proper event lead up, you’re going to at least need a few months but ideally, 6 to 8 months will allow you to progress at a pace that will keep you healthy and injury free.
If you’re already well trained and have great mobility and strength, you might be able to get away with 3 months of good training but if you’re newish to the sport and/or haven’t put a large focus on mobility and strength, you can’t rush this process.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to training progression is no more than a 10% increase of either duration and/or intensity per week. 10% is all your body is able to handle without becoming injured or over-trained.
Duration, which includes frequency of workouts is typically the first variable to increase but this may not always be the case. Training duration is the easiest metric to measure and I highly suggest your workouts are structured by time as opposed to distance so you can manage an easy variable to track.
An exception to this rule would be if you’re doing your swim training in the pool and then you’d typically use distance…cause who wants to finish an interval mid-pool!? This can also can hold true for track workouts but the workout should be structured to time-out at an appropriate duration.
Intensity is a little more difficult to measure but if you’re using HR and/or Power to measure your workouts, a TSS (training stress score) can be used to calculate intensity over the duration of a workout. We’ll learn more about this through the program.