With your individualized training zones established (chapter 3) and the outlines of your training plan on the calendar (chapter 4), now it is time to implement the plan by scheduling your weekly workouts. This chapter examines the types of workouts to schedule throughout the base-build-peak progression.
Creating Weekly Schedules
Recall that your training plan consists of intermediate level training blocks (mesocycles). Each week within those training blocks represents a smaller chunk of training (microcycle). These are commonly referred to as training “weeks” because they typically correspond to a 7-day calendar week. However, keep in mind that you could just as easily use microcycles of 10 days instead (or any number of days you choose). Most people adopt the typical 7-day training week because that is how we schedule the rest of our lives; so it is therefore easier to schedule our training that way, too.
As you schedule workouts over the week (microcycle), aim to balance workloads and recovery as you juggle training with other life activities and commitments. This means balancing harder days with easier days to ensure you are recovering adequately in between the key workouts. Just as you schedule extra recovery days at the end of each mesocycle, you want to take a similar approach to your weekly training schedule. If you do not like to take a full day off each week; then at least try to schedule an active recovery day to provide a physical and mental break.
Another consideration for multisport athletes is the need to space the different disciplines throughout the week with an eye toward avoiding too many consecutive days off from any one sport. A good rule of thumb is to avoid more than three consecutive days without training any one of your disciplines. If you do two swims, two bikes, and two runs each week, this is easy to accomplish. A schedule of three workouts per discipline per week with no more than two days off from any one discipline provides even more consistency.
Remember that to achieve a certain training volume over the course of the week, you have two variables to manipulate: frequency of sessions and duration of sessions. For example, two sessions of 1.5 hours each will give you the same training volume as three 1-hour sessions. Consider spreading out your weekly training volume over multiple sessions rather than trying to stack that volume into fewer sessions. One advantage of this approach is that your body better handles greater volume when it is spread out over multiple sessions, leaving you less prone to injury and overtraining. Another advantage is that you are better able to maintain form by limiting the number of consecutive days off from any single discipline. And if you are working to improve your skills in a discipline, you will benefit from an increased frequency of sessions—for example, getting in the water more frequently will benefit you if you are new to swimming.
Another useful strategy for triathletes is to schedule the long swim, long bike, and long run on back to back days and in that order. This mimics the sequence in which the disciplines are encountered in a race, providing an important element of race specific training where you learn to deal with fatigue that is carried over from one sport to another—especially from the bike to run on back to back days.
TRAINING GUIDE CONTENTS
– Train with a Purpose
– The ABCs of Systematic Training
– The R&R of Training
– Begin with the End in Mind
2. Exercise Science Concepts
– Overreaching and Overtraining
– Energy Systems
– Aerobic Capacity
– Lactate Threshold
– Aerobic Threshold
– Muscle Fiber Types
3. Monitor Your Training Intensity
– What is Training Intensity?
– Key Indicators of Intensity
– Using Training Zones
– Training by Feel, or Perceived Exertion
– Training with Pace
– Training with Heart Rate
– Running with Power
4. Create Your Training Plan
– Prioritizing Your Events
– Overview of the Training Phases
– Choosing Your Periodization Schedule
– Filling in the Details of the Overall Plan
5. Create Your Weekly Workouts
– Creating Weekly Schedules
– Establishing and Developing Your Base
– Building Upon Your Base
– Peaking for Your Target Event
– Race Week and Race Day Warmup
6. Functional Strength
7. Recovery and Nutrition
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