It is important to periodize your triathlon training into yearly phases. This enables your body to adapt and grow in performance, whilst at the same time avoiding injury and burnout. A general triathlon training year in Victoria can be divided into the following timeline for training phases. However, with the spread of events now taking place across Australia and internationally, and the increased number of athletes attending numerous events each year, the training phases (whilst still important), can be adjusted to suit a specific yearly race plan.
MAY – Start of Technique & Base Training
May is the start of our Winter Training Season and is the first phase of our 5 training phases in our Yearly Planner. Technique at the start of a training season is extremely important and will have a direct impact on your training and more importantly – racing, over the coming season. Technique training involves working on your skills in all forms of triathlon. Breaking down the components of your swim stroke, riding technique, run technique and developing these, either through positional work or a strength component. These are conducted at varying levels of intensity to assist you to build correct technique under differing training loads. Those who commence their winter training in May will ensure they build a sound technique and base fitness to build on in our further training phases throughout the year.
JUNE – Winter Base Training (Endurance & Technique)
During the month of June, we continue through our endurance-based training, focusing on technique. We commence Time Trials and continue them during the following months, held every 6 weeks. These are to assist us (and you!) to monitor your training progress and improvements. Every effort should be made to attend the Time Trials specified sessions. June also hosts our Annual Winter Triathlon Training Camp at Lorne – our largest training camp of the year.
JULY – Winter Base Training (Endurance, Technique & Strength)
During the month of July, we continue through our endurance-based training, continuing to concentrate on technique while also building strength. Time Trials continue during this month, and are held every 6 weeks. These are to assist us (and you!) to monitor your training progress and improvements. Every effort should be made to attend the Time Trials specified sessions. July also holds our Annual Advanced Triathlon Training Camp (Thailand) – designed specifically for those athletes looking to take their training and racing to the next level and achieve real marginal gains.
AUGUST – Winter Base Training (Strength/Endurance)
The Strength and Endurance Phase is an important part of your Training Program and is the second phase of our five training phases in our Yearly Planner.
Development of your strength and endurance at this stage of the season is just as important as the initial base technique phase and will have a direct impact on your training and more importantly—racing, for the upcoming season.
Why Strength & Endurance?
- Endurance Development
- Strength Development
- Aerobic Improvement
- Technique Reinforcement
- Injury Prevention
All athletes need to complete a strength and endurance phase before they can move onto the next phase of our training —the Strength and Speed Phase.
SEPTEMBER – Strength/Endurance/Speed Training
September marks the start of Spring, and less than 3 months before the Melbourne triathlon season kicks into action. Our sessions during September combine strength, endurance and speed/threshold training. Short Course athletes will focus more on threshold, while long course athletes focus on endurance incorporating threshold. Beginner athletes just starting out for the season will focus on triathlon specific sessions including base fitness, technique and triathlon skills.
OCTOBER – Pre-Competition Phase (Speed / Endurance / Race Specific Skills)
October sees our training change to our ‘Summer Training Program’ as we move into our Pre-Competition Phase (and day light savings!). We introduce brick/combo (bike/run) sessions, open water swimming skills and triathlon specific skills including transition practise. This phase of the program has lots of variety for beginners and Short Course athletes including aquathons and duathons to get you race ready for November. Be prepared to have some fun! Long Course athletes will have a big volume month building into their key long course races in November/December.
NOVEMBER – Competition Phase (Speed / Endurance / Race Specific Skills)
November is the commencement of our general competition phase – with the main triathlon season from November – April, although there are now races (particularly Long Course) that are held all year round. November sees us continuing to develop the race-specific skills needed for triathlon, focusing on speed and threshold work. We also ensure there is correct taper and recovery from each race, to continue to adapt and develop for stronger and faster racing. The main races we focus on in November include Challenge Shepparton with many Long Course athletes having a hit-out, and the first race of the Gatorade / Active Feet Triathlon Series in Melbourne. Tri Alliance will have 100+ athletes racing each race of this series to be the largest triathlon squad and looking to take home a number of podium finishes again this year.
DECEMBER – Competition Phase (Speed / Endurance / Race Specific Skills)
In December we continue our competition phase in developing race-specific skills needed for triathlon. Focusing on speed and threshold work while ensuring correct taper and recovery from each race to continue to adapt and develop for stronger, faster racing. The main races we focus on in December include Ironman WA (Busselton) and Race 2 of Gatorade / Active Feet Triathlon Series in Melbourne (if applicable).
In December we also like to include a training spike to make the most of the Christmas / New Year period. It is affectionately known as, Hell Week! A full 8 days of a ride, run and swim everyday (if you can!). This is a specific training spike replacing normal sessions starting each morning with a ride, a run off the bike followed by an open water swim. Distances are set according to abilities but the key is to see if you can do some everyday.
JANUARY – Competition Phase
The New Year brings a variety of races for Short Course and some big races ahead for Long Course athletes. Following our Hell Week Challenge in December, a freshen-up over New Year period and athletes should be feeling stronger than ever as they lead into the second half of the Triathlon Season. For some, you may only have 3 months of training and racing remaining, others racing later may still have 4-5 months. So take this into consideration when training with others. Remember your goals, stick to your training plan and the results will come.
January also hosts our Annual Altitude Triathlon Training Camp in Falls Creek to give your training a mid-season boost. Altitude has been providing an ‘edge’ to athletes for decades including the AIS, VIS and more recently most AFL Football Clubs all attending altitude training camps to gain an edge on their competitors. Our athletes experience a huge boost to their performance and general health, with noticeable improvements in oxygen consumption and power output by training and sleeping at altitude. Ideal for those who are racing long course events during February – June including Challenge Melbourne, Geelong Half Ironman, Ironman New Zealand, Ironman Port Macquarie and more!
FEBRUARY – Competition Phase
February is jam-packed with racing in and around Melbourne. For the majority of Short Course athletes, you will have 2 if not 3 races on your calendar, so very demanding on the body. Ensure you seek coache’s advice in regards to correct taper and recovery for each race. The month also holds Ironman 70.3 in Geelong, an A-race for many. Our Ironman New Zealand athletes continue their big build for their races in March, so a very solid month of training ahead for our Ironman athletes.
MARCH – Competition Phase
As we head into the last couple of months of racing, the races come in thick and fast and some BIG races in March with Ironman New Zealand, the Corporate Triathlon, Portarlington Short and Long Course and rounding out with Mooloolaba Olympic Distance and Sufferfest! It is an important time to pay particular attention to the body, ensuring adequate recovery is recieved in the form of sleep, nutrition and body maintenance.
APRIL – Recovery & Transition Phase
For the majority of our athletes, April is the month to recover and have some time off from triathlon. We put together a fantastic line up of activities for the month of April, which are aimed at allowing you to have a break from ‘normal’ triathlon training and have some FUN while still maintaining fitness. This is a great time to attend a Goal Setting Workshop to assist in planning and thinking about the next triathlon season – so you can make sure you don’t miss out on starting out the season ion the right foot. For those who are still in training for events, a number of sessions will cater for you. However it is important that you know your program and what is required of you, and always Train With Purpose.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A RECOVERY AND TRANSITION PHASE?
The Recovery and Transition Phase is an important part of your Training Program and is the last phase of our 5 training phases in our Yearly Planner. Recovery at the end of a racing season is extremely important and will have a direct impact on your training and more importantly—racing, over the next season.
- Physiological Recovery
- Psychological Recovery
- Immune System Recovery
- Recovery from recurring or niggling injuries