Training between races

Did you have your first triathlon and, like most of you, was thrilled? Then perhaps your diary is quickly filled with other interesting races in interesting destinations and on various routes… Choosing from a varied menu is the easier part of preparation. However, it is difficult to maintain high performance only by racing. On the other hand, if you practice hard daily and race every weekend, it is almost certain that you will not live your last start in health and strength.
So how do you plan your training between races? First, you need to set priorities for each week. And these will be related to the subjective importance of each race. Divide your start into three categories.

A maximum of three can be given priority. These will be the most important triathlons you would like to show yourself in the best possible performance. Approximately a week before the A race, the total training load (volume and intensity) will drop significantly so that your body has time to relax, repair everything and replenish any reserves. You will also mentally relax from the daily stress of trying to squeeze as much training as possible between family and work responsibilities. Towards the end of this tuning, you should literally shake eagerly on the track and squeeze! In the race you will move on your edge and consequently your body and mind will ask for another rough week of consistent regeneration. You will get out of systematic development training for about two weeks. For sprint triathlon it may be less, for Ironman, and much more. The required length will depend on the length and complexity of the race, but also on how many similar races you have already completed and what impact on your body balance is. After the first railcar you can recover from it for a month. Such a race can impose a similar burden on your body as if you were hit by a car while training and require a similar degree of rehabilitation. When you have several lengthy and heavy races in a row, your body can adapt to this type of workout and even after one week you can be ready to jump back to the full workout or even cut a pre-C race. Ironman Full Distance races (unless you have a few dozen behind them) and most beginners all half-iron races).



A maximum of three to four races can be a B priority, which you go to with not being perfectly tuned, but still want to fight for a very decent result. Instead of a weekly tuning, you only take 2-3 days in advance and do not lose so many training units. The fact that you will not be 100% rest will also make sure that during the race you will probably not get to the full edge with your performance and consequently the subsequent convalescence will be shorter. Even after the race you will be able to jump back into the training a few days early and overall you will lose only a week in terms of development training. Without one day in the middle, because the race itself is of course the best possible training.
It's always something for something. If you rest longer before the race, you will probably show a better result. But at the same time you lose part of your usual training workload. Moreover, every intensive race (even training) is a kind of self-harm. So if you do not give the body enough time for rehabilitation, you are caring for a problem (injuries, overtraining, nutritional deficits, illness, burn-out,…)
For the more experienced ones, this may include half-iron riders, but most often it will be races of 1-3 hours.

Then give C priority to all other actions. You will not be tuned to them, nor should you move them far from your edge. It should be a very specific training for races A and B. It is all the more pleasant that you pop in the presence of many other similarly affected, the organizer will look at the material in the depot and prepare refreshments, plus you can take home a nice medal or t-shirt. Before such a race it is usually enough to rest 1-2 days and even after that sometimes 1-2 days to recover and jump back into the training. It is not such an interference with systematic burdens. However, it is very important to go to these plants with a firm commitment not to destroy them. This means to determine in advance the performance margin in which you will move in the race and especially then, despite your favorite opponent running a hundred meters in front of you, firmly adhere. And not everyone can do this. For a comparatively long Priority A race, if you need to move around 150 beats on a bike and 160 for a run, for B priority it will be 145/153 and for C priority only 135/142. You have to observe with yourself how long your body and mind from each level of performance subsequently recover and accordingly races in this category strictly conceived. If your A priority is an ironman, B is a half-ironman, and C is a sprint or Olympic triathlon, you can even move on the same pulse train for everyone. The time spent on this intensity in individual races will mean a different need for subsequent rest. In addition, this way you will instill and test the optimal intensity (even with transitions between disciplines) for more important races. It is also the best opportunity for specific testing of racing equipment, drinking and supplements. This category will most often include sprint and Olympic triathlons, but cross-country, cycling or swimming races will also serve as well. These are all the more valuable as they give you insight into the specialists in each sport and thanks to the unilateral load you can return to lighter (compensatory) training of other disciplines even sooner. If you choose to run for 10 km as a training race, you can include a lighter longer cycling training or even a sharper swimming - the day before, for example in Core shorts or neoprene to relieve the footwork.


Determining a specific mix of training units is far beyond the scope of this article, but there are some rules on how to proceed.
If you have a series of preparatory races on Saturdays, you can schedule two free (or actively regenerating) days - Friday and Sunday. These days you just have to compensate for light training or complete time off. So you can continue systematic training from Monday to Thursday. If your A is a short race, you can continue to focus on the intensive stretches in each discipline these days. Even with the possibility that you will drive more freely on Saturday to develop specific endurance. C race in this case can even be longer than your main start. An example could be a peak in the form of a two-hour cross-country triathlon and a preparatory race in the form of a four-hour MTB marathon. While in the Xterra cycling section you will be on the edge of, say, 155 beats, at the training marathon you will strictly drive around 125 beats in order to develop stamina and gain technical experience. If your A is half or the whole Ironman, you will certainly keep your intensity mainly on Saturday and from Monday to Thursday focus mainly on developing basic endurance and effective fat metabolism. Your Ironman target pulse might be 150/160, and you will also go 150/160 or a little higher in the Olympic Triathlon Training Triathlon. On the remaining days of the week, you will move around 120-125 for longer training sessions and around 130-135 while running. Depending on your experience and performance, then you can add over-race sections in the middle of the week - up to 160 bikes on a bike and 170 beats running to develop the anaerobic threshold and economy of movement.

Here, unlike the C, you will aim for a decent outcome, but the difference in the A will not lose so much from systematic preparation and you will not be 100% ready for the top result. However, it can happen (and often happens) that you will achieve your best result or personal record in a race of this category. In this case, it is advisable to rethink your tuning strategy for A races. Maybe you've been tuning them for too long ... Maybe it was just your day. There are many more factors that affect his appearance than the system of training and rest (tuning). It may be the result of stress levels at work and in the family, the amount and quality of sleep, the amount and quality of drinking and food, the effects of supplements, motivational factors, after-treatment of unsuspected hidden diseases and minor injuries,…). During the race itself, you can subjectively squeeze “fully”. However, due to the lack of full tuning, your body and mind should not let you go to the very edge from which you would recover for too long. Depending on the length of the race you will take your training approximately 2-4 days in advance and you will rest for about the same time. The rest may include a light swim or a bicycle ride on a flat cadence. You can jump back into systematic training as soon as nothing hurts and you look forward to it.

The goal of the A is to demonstrate maximum performance no matter how long you get out of training. Everything will only be directed to day “D”. So in the last 7-14 days (depending on the length of the race and your training) you will not catch up with anything you have not yet managed to do in your workouts. You won't be able to prove that you can do it through your favorite heavy training. You can almost maintain the number and structure of your workouts, but their demands must go down significantly. During and after each training session, you should not feel more tired during this period, nothing should hurt you. You should feel energized and energized after each training unit. Feeling you should not want to quit, but rationally with respect to the approaching peak, you just quit and throw yourself to rest. Use the extra time you gain from training for regeneration and mental well-being. Do not try to catch up with more serious restraints at work or replace training with something physically or mentally stressful at this time. Indulge in the longest possible sleep throughout the tuning period, eat healthy without excess, indulge in a massage, whirlpool,… Pamper yourself. If the top race on Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday can be completely free, on Friday it is better to wake up the body a little from lethargy with very short training in each discipline (20 min round, 5-10 min run, 10 min swimming). Somebody will be more satisfied with the rest on Friday - see for yourself what works better for you.
In the race itself, after a good tuning, you can expect unsuspected results, just do not overdo it in the euphoria right from the start. It is always worthwhile to start every discipline with reason and possibly push in the second half (race and every part of it). An energized and relaxed body can squeeze more than usual, so you can expect a longer period of rehabilitation after the race. The body will be repaired from severe destruction, so allow it enough time and systematic training to wait until it is completely right again and at the same time you will return the taste of hard work.


Good luck!