MMRF Endurance Events

Triathlon Training Tips - Week 3

Week #3 – Building Volume For Injury- Free Training

One of the most important aspects of triathlon training is building your training volume, the amount you train each week, wisely. Many triathlon-related injuries are directly caused by doing "too much too soon," increasing your swim/bike/run volume too rapidly. Shin splints and knee pain are two common ailments that can arise from building your running mileage incorrectly. Shoulder pain is common in swimming too much, too soon. The good news is that by gradually increasing your training volume and "periodizing" your training, you can get to race-day injury-free.

In layman's terms, periodization simply means "cycling" your training, gradually increasing and then decreasing your total training volume over time. For triathletes this translates into 3 or 4 week cycles consisting of adding a little more training time in each week, followed by a "recovery" week where you decrease the training time to allow your body to "absorb" what you have done and prepare it for the additional volume to come. One mistake I have seen in so many athletes over the years is the lack of these recovery weeks in their training. Scheduled recovery weeks are essential to your triathlon success and cannot be left out of your program.

A few rules to remember when building training volume:

  1. Don't increase your training time too drastically from one week to the next.

  2. Don't "cram" missed workouts in and throw off your overall plan.

  3. Work on your weakness! Most triathletes excel in one of the three sports. Don't make the mistake of consistently missing the workout that you least enjoy. If swimming is your weakest discipline, focus on getting those workouts in first and foremost. On race day you will be very glad you did!

  4. Stick to YOUR plan. Don't worry about what others may be doing; stay focused on your own program.

  5. Be sure to help your body adapt positively to the increased volume by strength-training, stretching, resting and eating a healthy diet.