Which training stereotype are you? Asks coaching editor Phil Mosley
Coaching editor Phil Mosley is ready to don his fancy dress gear in the name of triathlon
I ’ve been coaching triathletes for nigh-on 10 years now and I’ve started to notice certain behavioural traits that keep cropping up. Try as I might, I feel powerless to influence them. It’s as if they are coded into every triathlete’s DNA. So thought I’d get a few off my chest and maybe you’ll recognise yourself in one or two.
First on the list is catch-up training. This is where I set someone a week of training, but due to work commitments they’re forced to miss a couple of days. I always say, don’t attempt to catch up on any missed sessions. However, this falls on deaf ears and the athlete will often bust a gut to cram in five workouts over the next 48 hours. This invariably leads to them getting a cold or being so exhausted that it wrecks their weekend training. The lesson is that the only catching up you should do is with your sleep.
Another one is when athletes spend so much time on weight training and core stability that they barely have any time left for their swim, bike and run workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in weights and core stability, but as add-ons rather than an alternative.
Third on my list is aero kit. I coach a few top age-group athletes who won’t wear an aero helmet because they’re worried it’ll make them look too serious. It seems ironic when you consider that they dedicate half their life to training and ride bikes worth £4,000 – is that not quite serious already? Personally I’d wear a pink sombrero and a pair of frilly slippers if someone said they’d make me a minute faster. It would solve the problem of looking serious anyway.
I could think of more examples, but let’s focus on this exciting issue of Training Zone instead. For starters, there’s a feature about something triathletes are quite bad at – tumble turns. You may not need them in open water triathlons, but they certainly help you swim faster in a pool.
There’s also part two of our Ironman 70.3 training plan as well as a guide to pacing the bike section of an Ironman.
All you need now is a really serious-looking aero helmet and you’ll be well on your way to triathlon glory.
Don’t panic about missed sessions, says Phil – just crack on
The brains behind Training Zone is Phil Mosley, an elite triathlete, former national duathlon champion and coach with a degree in sports science. He also trains individuals at myprocoach.net