MAK­ING KONA ON 12 HOURS A WEEK

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRANSITION TRAINING - BY NICK BUSCA

Lis­ten in on any triathlon post-race or post-work­out con­ver­sa­tion, and you’re likely to hear lots about one of three top­ics. One is nutri­tion: how many kcal you should get for rac­ing and train­ing, how much you should drink, the va­lid­ity of a sweat test and so on. An­other black hole is the aero­dy­nam­ics in­volved in the bike leg for half- and fulld­is­tance races. And then there is the Holy Grail of all triathlon talk: how many hours should I train for a full-dis­tance race and how many hours do I need to train to qual­ify for Kona?

With the an­swers to this last mys­tery rang­ing from “at least 20” to the al­most philo­soph­i­cal “there is no answer to that ques­tion,” it’s clear that both ath­letes and coaches would rather in­vest the time spent ques­tion­ing into real coach­ing and train­ing. How­ever, the re­sults of a chat with former pro ath­lete and now Trisutto coach Joseph Spindler at a train­ing camp in Mal­lorca (it can’t re­ally get more triathlon jet­set that this) stuck with me: an av­er­age of 12 hours per week, Spindler kept say­ing. You can ac­tu­ally qual­ify for Kona av­er­ag­ing a 12-hour-per-week regime? How is that pos­si­ble?

“It is a very ba­sic and struc­tured ap­proach,” ex­plains Spindler. “How­ever, it is not for every­one as the ath­letes need to be very dili­gent and do­ing qual­ity train­ing to re­ally match the sets. They have to be very struc­tured and very ra­tio­nal-think­ing ath­letes. This is very im­por­tant: it will not work with ev­ery type of ath­lete.”

So, if your main goal is to en­joy the out­doors and you don’t mind over­do­ing it here and there or skip­ping ses­sions, then Spindler’s ap­proach may not be for you. How­ever, if you still en­joy train­ing out­doors, but the op­ti­miza­tion of your train­ing time in or­der to per­form well is one of your top pri­or­i­ties (par­tic­u­larly if you have a busy life filled with work, fam­ily and so­cial com­mit­ments), then his method­ol­ogy could be a good fit.

Do­minique Meier rac­ing on 12 hours of train­ing per week at Iron­man Switzer­land 2016 LEFT

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