Its been a while since I blogged and I gotta tell ya, I'm backed up like Sydney traffic. I got opinions and objections stacked up like itty bitty twigs just needing a big ol dose of keyboard metamucil.
So what topic? Well the potential title choices relating to the amateur triathlon demographic are..... The white powdered elephant in the room- why age groupers dope. Getting chicked- one mans groundhog day or ............ Is racing the best training? I've gone with number three as it is the least controversial and I don't want to get trolled.
As a young triathlete in the 90s I heard and tried many forms of preparation for the Triath-a-lon. One of them was the notion of racing yourself into peak fitness. Of course i tried this method more than once over the years but before I get into that its worth considering other sports for a moment.
With Triathlon being such a young sport its helpful to look outside and see how other, far better funded sports prepare for their season. Rugby codes, AFL, Tennis players etc all spend a large part of the pre season de-constructing their game into categories of strength, skills, endurance etc THEN road testing the pre season work in a trial situation or in our case a "B" race, then going away and tweaking THEN launching into a season "proper".
Another way to look at it is to compare heart rate graphs of a well constructed training session versus a Triathlon race heart rate. A well executed training session graph will have a saw tooth appearance with many periods in the anaerobic zone. A Triathlon race will generally have a "table top" appearance of you basically escalating to threshold and then trying to stay there. The many repeated visits to the the heart rates above "race pace" are where the gainz are made bro. So by definition its best to build your race in a well constructed pre-season period, test your progress in an early season race, tweak your weaknesses then launch into a season where the Sunday race is the focus and the days in between are largely recovery and technique with a bit of Wednesday juice.
With our season being so long i think taking 3 weeks off over Christmas and then re-escalating is a great idea. A "race" block should not exceed 8-10 weeks.
Your not superman/wonderwoman, you have a job, kids, family etc. If you train smart and break your season up into periods of purpose you can be the best athlete version of yourself. You don't have to be cranky, overtrained and getting slower every race. Find a good coach who can keep an eye on the big picture.
Till next time. Stay in the moment, live with purpose, reject the cliche.