Success with Stamina
Success with Stamina
A little blog about being a triathlon coach. Here you'll find a little diary about my activities as a coach, the performances of the people I work with and my thoughts and opinions on what makes athletes faster for longer.

Limbering up for longer distances

AndyBby AndyBApr 12th 2010
My previous post discussed ways in which to improve your performance over short distance races. For the next few paragraphs I'll discuss how you can limber up for longer distances.

I've previously talked about periodising your training year (changing times) and with longer distances races there can be some discussion about what the aims of each macrocycle are. Ever heard of the term 'reverse periodisation'? The idea here is that during the winter you do shorter, higher intensity sessions and when building to your races you do longer lower intensity sessions. I could talk for hours on this instead I'll direct you to a couple of articles elsewhere on the web ( and ( see 'macrocycles misconceptions and errors'). I'll remind you that 'periodisation' involves having the suitable objectives (aims) for each training cycle and those aims should help you build towards your specific race targets.

Remember that we don't have to call the macrocycles 'base' and 'build'. We can also call them 'general fitness' and 'race specific fitness' or 'race preperation'. These last two terms offer a great idea of what to do during the phase. For longer distances the time for the majority of strength work has gone. Race preparation is about building up the endurance ready for the longer races. Whilst middle distance and olympic distance training can over lap to some degree, going for the full ironman requires increasing the distance of training rides and runs whilst losing as little of the strength and speed built up through earlier phases of training.

So what sort of training sessions will this lead us to do? The long swim, ride and long run are key to allowing you to complete long distance events, neglect these at your peril! Adding a short run off your long bike rides will also help you get used to the sensation of running off the bike. Separating your long run and ride by a few days also helps you recover between them, which in turn allows you to get more out of each session. Personally, I love the longer rides. They offer such an opportunity to be creative with route planning, there are just so many more miles to play with. Then when I return I'll sit down with a map (while I stretch and take on board a recovery drink!) and smile to myself as I see the area of countryside I have just covered on my bike and the sights and sounds I passed on my way.

Once these are allocated time in your diary/plan any extra available sessions should be allocated towards maintaining some strength and speed. Remember here that whilst no intensity of training should be neglected entirely, the proportions should be biased towards race specific training in this case speed work can be considered as half ironman paced interval efforts. If your big race bike leg is long and hilly, then ride long and hilly, if the run section on road then run on road, get your body as used to the strains it is going to face in the race and when the race comes round you will respond better, both physically and mentally.

In my next few blogs I'll give you some ideas for brick training short and long course and also start to tackle the big area of nutrition. In the meantime plan out the progression of your long sessions, then go out and enjoy them long sessions and the freedom they offer to your training!
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