Triathlon Training Nirvana!
For anyone who has ever decided to embark on an endurance event, you inevitably get to the point where you have no idea what you should be doing on a daily basis to train for your event. Many people try to figure it out by themselves and may experience limited success, but as you progress towards longer distances and attempt to be competitive, you must decide to either hire a coach or try to find a legitimate training plan. I have turned toward Triathlete Magazine’s Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide, written by Matt Fitzgerald.
For the abundance of information that is contained in this book it is an absolute steal for $20, fortunately $20 was the list price long ago, you can now purchase the book for a lot less with a little bit of research. If you have a decent library system in the city you live in, you may also be able to find it there, something I have done multiple times until my wife finally bought me the book because she was tired of me running to the library every 3 weeks to renew, or pick up a different copy because my renewals had run out. The book is also available in electronic formats for your e-readers, but I have read that it doesn’t format like it should, so it renders the electronic version useless. I do not have an e-reader and have not been able to personally confirm this to be the case, so be cautious.
There are multiple scheduling tips, basic triathlon information and other helpful items, but the meat of the book is the triathlon training plans. The book is great because it provides 10 levels of training for Sprint, Olympic, Half Iron and Ironman distance triathlons. The book provides a training plan for all levels across all distances. Level one is geared towards the beginner and each plan gets more difficult as you progress towards level 10. The author does a great job of explaining which level would best fit your fitness level, goals and time restraints. I have been able to choose different plans for different times of the year when my work and family demands are increased. It is easy to pick whether you have time for 2 workouts per discipline per week or three. No matter what my circumstances or goals, one of the plans has always worked for me. One of the most comforting feelings a triathlete can have is when they are lined up at the start line and feel completely confident that their training will get them to the finish. This comforting feeling for me began when I started using this training guide.
If there is one thing I don’t like about the book it is all the coding involved. As you can see there are codes for each day of the week. Examples of some of the codes are RLI4 (Run Lactate Interval) or CFR5 (Cycling Foundation Ride). You must then turn to the correct page that has the definition of the code to determine the details of what your workout for that day should be.
Once you get used to some of the terminology you can find the information more quickly, but you always have to go to the code definitions to find out how many intervals and/or total time. This also makes it a little difficult to get a general idea of what type of training is required during the week. I will typically take the information (see below) and place it in a spreadsheet. It is a little bit of work, but most triathletes have quirks and want to see the information in a manner that fits them best. I just add another tab to my Excel spreadsheet which contains every little bit of training detail for the current year.
The Bottom Line ~
This book should be a great resource for triathletes of all levels. If you don’t want to pay a coach and you need a detailed training plan, check out this book. It is well worth the money and you can be confident that Matt Fitzgerald and Triathlete Magazine provides you with a wealth of information and a training plan that is specifically designed for you. Be honest with yourself when choosing your plan and you can’t go wrong.