I spent this past week week on “holidays”, and by “holidays” I mean a week I wasn’t at work spent at Victoria Beach, Manitoba. However, Coach Pat spends his summers at Victoria Beach and he hijacked my “holidays” (I didn’t resist much) by reclassifying them as a “training camp”.
The volume for the Pat/self-inflicted training camp was as follows:
- Bike: 8 hours 35 minutes
- Run: 4 hours 35 minutes
- Swim: 4 hours
- TOTAL: 17 hours 10 minutes
This triathlon training volume is HUGE for me, I typically will be active for a total of 17 hours in a week but I’d classify at least 7 of those hours as garbage miles. Well, none of these 1,030 minutes were garbage, they were all purposeful triathlon training moments.
Big triathlon training camps held over weekends or full weeks, even huge triathlon training builds done within the course of a triathlon training plan for a race can have huge benefits for triathletes looking for a massive gain in fitness. That is, IF triathletes can absorb that high training volume properly.
Think of a triathletes body like as sponge where pure dryness is zero fitness, and dripping wet is soggy and being overtrained. Train too little and your body/sponge won’t absorb much fitness, train too much and you’ll be soaking your body/sponge to the point that it can’t absorb the fitness.
So how do we utilize massive increases in triathlon training volume while not overdoing it? Here are five steps to get the most out of big increases in triathlon training:
- REST: make sure your body is prepared for a big increase in training volume by slightly reducing your training volume going into the increased training load.
- GET CRAZY: increase training load by increasing volume (length of training sessions), frequency (how often you train), or both volume and frequency.
- MONITOR: make sure your body isn’t developing structural problems that can result injuries.
- REST: it’s very likely you won’t be able to maintain your non-triathlon training activities that happen over the rest of the day, naps and downtime will help offset the increase training load.
- RECOVER: treat the 2-3 days after the huge week or weekend the same as you would the first 1-2 days of a taper process; take them completely off or almost completely off. This will be critical and will allow your body to absorb the massive increase in training volume, it will ensure that your body/sponge won’t get oversaturated with triathlon training load by drying out a bit and absorb a proper amount of training.
Perform these steps properly and the massive increased training load will set your triathletes body on a trajectory of building massive fitness and give you an excellent base of fitness for your next triathlon.
Good luck triathlon Trainiacs!