Tri Talk Tuesday – Training Plans

Hello Tuesday, good to see you again. Not only is it just Tuesday, but it’s the first Tuesday of the month, which means it’s Tri Talk Tuesday!

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So I’m still only registered for one race for 2015 at this point. One. Normally by now my schedule is exploding at the seams and I’m chomping at the bit to get racing. But this year I’m forcing myself to slow down. And, ya know, I’ve got some pesky injury issues.

That being said, our topic is training plans and I don’t have diddly squat yet in terms of a training plan for my single duathlon that I’m registered for. In all fairness it’s a race I can finish as long as I’m at my base level of fitness. But I’m not. That whole not running thing is really throwing a wrench into my ability to start training. I do plan to actually sit down and write myself out a training plan for this race sometime this week that I will put into place hopefully the following week, assuming my calves can handle running by then. And from there I plan to spring into 70.3 training for IM Syracuse and Musselman, both of which I haven’t actually registered for yet, but intend to start training for with the intent to do so.

Notice I mentioned that I would be sitting down to write my own training plan. As a USAT certified triathlon coach I am completely comfortable writing my own custom training plan, but it’s not for everyone. There’s a lot more that goes into writing a training plan then just filling workouts into everyday. So if writing your own isn’t something you’re up to, where do you turn to find one?

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First things first, there’s free ones available online. You can find some at beginnertriathlete.com as a starting place, then branch out to other tri websites. Garmin Connect also has free training plans that you can download to you watch if you have one fancy enough to track a workout calendar. But remember, free training plans are going to be very cookie cutter and make assumptions about your current level of fitness. They are one size fits all which does not work for a lot of people.

If those cookie cutter plans don’t cut it for you, you can buy a plan. Buying a plan usually means it has more tailoring, sometimes. You can buy plans on Training Peaks that are created to prep you for certain races. Racing Ironman 70.3 Syracuse with me? Buy a IM Cuse plan off TP and you can guarantee there’s going to be a crap load of hill training built into it. But this will still make some assumptions about your fitness level and different plans are created to get certain results. Looking to just finish your first 70.3? Something that promises high volume and intensity to help you nail a sub-6 hour finish won’t be what you want, so read plan descriptions carefully before biting the bullet here.

Finally, if you really want a training plan that meets all your needs, doesn’t make assumptions about your fitness and goals, and is dynamic, flexible, and perfectly crafted just for you, it’s time to hire out. A coach can write you a training plan that utilizes all of your current fitness levels, access to pools/open water/gyms/everything under the sun. If you have vacations or other interruptions planned they can write workouts that will fit the altered needs there. A coach can write you something that 100% meets all of your specific, personal needs to get you to that finish line successfully and confidently. Don’t have the budget for a full on coach? Most coaches will, for a small one time fee, write you that custom plan, you just won’t get the extra coaching to go with it. But the plan will still provided to you, meeting everything you need and require to be successful.

There are a lot of options for training plans out there and it can get overwhelming to find one that works for you. Take a deep breath, figure out what you need and want out of your race, and start from there. Most of all though, enjoy the journey. The finish line feels amazing, but only after you’ve put in all those month of hard work, so revel in it, appreciate it, love it!

How do you select a training plan? 

Tri Talk Tuesday will be back on March 3rd where we’ll be running a three part series breaking down each individual discipline and talking about how to improve, gear, drills, or anything else you’d like about improving the disciplines on an individual basis. Our March theme will be How to Improve Your SwimDon’t forget to come link up!

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15 Thoughts on “Tri Talk Tuesday – Training Plans

  1. I am excited to be training for a tri again after a few years of just running. I did a number of them a few years back and feel like I am starting all over again! Looking forward to the link ups
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Don’t Sweat it! Shower Pill Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm said:

      Definitely join in the link ups if you want! If you check out my “triathlon tips” page it has all of our TTT past linkups there too if you feel like reading =)

  2. I am lucky I have always had some really great coaches to lead me and keep me smart with my training!
    Hayley@HealthyRegardsHayley recently posted…January: Looking Back and a Look AheadMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm said:

      Smart training is good! Glad you have awesome coaches to get you to your finish lines =)

  3. Great points there and yes, there are a lot of plans out there and it’s hard to cut through them all. I agree, you have to do the research ahead of time and decide what is going to work for you and your season ahead. I love planning out the season in January before the hard work really starts! New notebook, new calendar and new season! (PS: I just sent you an email as well!)

  4. You are so right about trying to find the right plan. It is hard. I’m weeding through a lot right now and even considering going the coach route. Best of luck with training ths year, I’m looking forward to following your journey.

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm said:

      The weeding through part is the worst part. Good luck on your coaching search and upcoming season =)

  5. You are so right…following a training plan that works for you is key. I have had a coach in the past, but it wasn’t the best fit. She would push me as though I were a professional/elite athlete and then I would end up injured (because for me, if it is in training peaks, the workout must be done). This coming June will be one year that I have been self coaching and have been injury free. It does help that I too am a certified USAT Level 1 coach 😉 I have definitely thought about seeking out a different coach that better meets my needs/goals, but am not ready to make that leap just yet. I want to see what I can do on my own for this year and reevaluate for the future.
    Kecia recently posted…#likeagirlMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm said:

      Sometimes trying it on your own is a great learning tool. I’ve learned a lot since getting coaching certified and feel a lot more confident in my self coaching ability. I’m sure you’ll be amazing!

  6. I’m seriously considering doing a sprint Tri. I have like 0 experience swimming however, so I think that would be my biggest fear. And I definitely don’t have the funds to hire a coach. That being said, I do have access to open water (live close to the beaches) and pools. Do you have any advice for a beginner lol?
    Montana @ Pretty Lil Mudder recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date: FebruaryMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm said:

      You might want to check out “Triathlon Yips” page. There is a ton of beginner friendly articles there.

      For swimming I would suggest you get in a pool first to get comfortable swimming. How much time do you have before the tri? You can swim any stroke you’d like to get through the swim portion, learning free style is not necessary although it is the most efficient stroke form. Get in the pool at least twice a week and get comfortable swimming period. Then get into real open water, but make sure you bring a friend. Never swim open water alone. If you have any other specific questions feel free to email me, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have =) fields.courtneya@gmail.com

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm said:

      Also, if you’re interested in coaching, I know you said you lack the funds, but we might be able to work something out. Feel free to email me if you’d like, I’d be willing to work out something with you if it’s in the cards.

  7. I put my own plan together last year after looking at several plans online and was very happy with it. This year I’m also doing it alone again simply because I like too plus then I feel I can adjust it as needed. I based this year’s plan off what seems a pretty aggressive plan so I’m scaling it back a bit and using Hal Higdon’s 10k plan in it as best as I can. My first tri this year is also an Olympic distance so that may be why I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. The amount of biking ramps up awful quick or more than I’m used to. This year I also have spin classes built in which has already improved my cycling.

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on February 13, 2015 at 10:40 pm said:

      Good luck training for your first Oly! Spin classes are great and I spin almost exclusively throughout the winter.

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