This is not going to be a weekly training plan that you can simply pickup and follow. These are pointers that you can choose from and implement in your training program.
Two major elements of this training program
- Focus during the week
- Focus during the weekend
Focus during the week
- Recovery and Rest
- High Intensity – Short interval
- Nutrition plan for Recovery
Focus during the weekend
- Endurance or Long sessions
- Practicing nutrition plan during the actual event
Recover and Rest
- Plan a complete day off! E.g Monday
- Use a roller. Learn the right time to use one and the right technique
- Get a full body massage
High Intensity – Short Interval
- Extremely important to include short sprints in your schedule. For running, swimming and cycling.
- Short means short – 30 to 45 minutes is short
- For running you can do 1km times 5 eg. If you run a half marathon at 6 min per km then try and target 5 mins a km in this. Go shorter…400 meters…and faster. For swimming do 50 meteres 10 times or 20 times. 100 meters 10 times. Cycling…1 km fast 1 km slow
- Other forms of High Intensity is
- Hill running repeats
- Cycling on the higher gear over flyovers
- Cycling hill repeats
- At a minimum i would have two separate days of strength.
- One day I focus on Legs and Core
- Second day I focus on Upper body and Core
- This way I get two days of core and atleast one day of heavy legs and heavy upper body. You can do more than this.
- Higher and higher weights and less repetitions build strength. If you are able to do more than 8 reps then you are not using the right weight. Increase the weight.
- Figure out how to do strength with body weight only. This is tricky because body weight is not enough to build strength sometimes so do single legged repetitions and single arm if possible.
- For Legs I would do calf raises, heal drops, single legged, squats (a lot of reps say 30 by 3), pistol squats, lunges, step up and down on a high staircase (very high), jump up and down a staircase (very high staircase), skipping, and leg curling etc.
- For core i would do planks, burpees etc.
- For upper body i would do chin ups, push ups, different variations of both, stretch cords, different arm exercises with weights etc.
Nutrition plan for recovery
- During the week focus on more protein. It could mean broccoli, cheese, chicken, eggs etc.
- Appropriate carbs…not too less but must be less than what you have during weekends because you are doing less time and less miles during the week.
- Focus on fiber, nuts, highly alkaline diets. Google to find out what this means.
- Reduce sugar or sugary products because again you dont need that much energy
- salty almonds, proper elctrolyte intake etc. Not too much though.
Endurance or Long Sessions
- Your long sessions are the real practice for 70.3 So when you get close to the race day your body should already be ready. Meaning if say you think you can do 70.3 in says 7 hours then atleast once or twice in your practice you must do atleast 6 hours long session. I did two 70.3 in practise before the actual event.
- You need to build up your long sessions. Start with 2 hours long and slowly build to 3 then 4 then 5 then 6….
- Split them over saturday and sunday first…eg. 2 hours on sat, 1 hour on sunday…but very imporant to not do only splits. You must do long sessions over one day!!
- Long sessions are difficult to recover from if you keep them high intensity. Go slower…much slower.
- Brick workouts are extremely important…long bike rides followed by long run walks.
- Run walk under the sun is very important too. Your run will start at around 11 am or 12…so gradually build up doing run walks starting that time. Body gets used to whatever you ask it to do but this can be a huge change for the body so be gradual about this one.
- Long swims followed by long bike rides must also be practised.
Nutrition plan for the race
- In each long session, you must practise your actual nutrition plan. This is a crucial aspect. If you screwup here then you are not going to recover properly for during the week sessions and will feel exhausted. This is a key thing to master.
- Three things are critical…water, salt and sugar
- Wait for the signal from your body to drink water but dont wait longer than 30 minutes.
- Wait for the signal from your body to eat carbs (sugar). but dont wait longer than 30 minutes.
- Dont wait for any signal from your body for salt….just take salt tab atleast once every hour during cycling or once every 45 minutes during run. Dont overdo on salt..it will lead to stomach upset and water retention.
- Dont follow any plan including this one blindly. Learn what you can improve after every long session and implement the change in the next one.
- I eat more the night before…carbs..
- I eat at 4 am the day of the long sessions..banana, toast with jam and butter…and tea
- During the swim i dont eat or drink because i dont need to and its difficult to do that.
- After the swim i eat a banana and drink gatorade.
- During the bike ride, I eat bananas, and start on gels and also coke (it has a lot of sugar). And some salt. Although I have been reducing salt on the bike ride since I am getting better at this. I dont get cramps on the bike.
- During the run, I drink gatorade, i eat salt tabs especially if its sunny but not too many…and i drink coke..and sometimes bananas. Also gels.
- Try to train your mind to focus on other stuff around you. Dont put pressure by looking at the stupid watch or garmin.
- Practise self support. If you can do with self support, all the support during the event is going to have a huge positive impact on you.
- Getting a training partner is very difficult but if you get one who is doing the same 70.3 as you are and is in the same city, then nothing like it.
- Try to mimic conditions of the race as much as possible especially time of day when you will start swimming, biking and most importantly running.
- Another important thing to mimic is the bike path elevation. Most european bike path elevations are about 600 to 700 meteres in 90 kms…so make sure you practise in a route that has similar elevation.
- Try fixing a puncture! Dont fix the puncture. Carry spare tubes and CO2 cartridges. Practice and time yourself at home. Its still not the same when you deal with a puncture at the 15th, 50th and 75th km because you will be drained at that time but still something is better than nothing. Try changing the tube at the end of your long ride to give you a real feel of what it takes!
- Dont do this only for the race day. Focus on getting your fitness level up in the process.
- Dont push too much in a short time period. Make it a long gradual process. You will be surprised with what you achieve in a year or two.
- Its hard to be disciplined meaning being regular with all this for weeks and months…but if you do that then you will complete the race and wont even blink. The problem is when you are not disciplined and you still show up on the race day with not the right preparation.
- Read up about long term health issues of doing long distance triathlons and how not to get caught up in that.
- Also read up about long term health benefits of long distance triathlons and adopt it as a way of life.