We’re halfway through February 2021, and it seems like there’s a chance that we’ll actually get to race this year. So, where are you in the training process? It’s still early… right?
We all spend plenty of time pondering the details of our daily workouts: how far, how long, how many, how hard, and so on. But good triathlon training is about more than just, “What am I doing today?” A different piece of the puzzle to consider is whether your training has a rhythm to it on a more macro level. And while mid-February isn’t necessarily deep enough into the year to be doing race-specific work, it’s far along enough that your training shouldn’t be random.
One idea that I stress to my athletes, particularly the beginners who are essentially learning how to train, is that good training has ebbs and flows. There are hard days and easy days within a given week, and when you zoom out, there should be hard weeks and easy weeks as well. Now that we’re several weeks into 2021, I can say with a good degree of certainty that my athletes have gotten into a rhythm. If you ask Jackie what she’s doing on Wednesday morning, she’ll tell you to meet her at the pool. If you ask Jerome his plans for Saturday morning, he’ll tell you without hesitation that that’s his long bike day. And if you ask me what I’m doing on Monday, I’ll tell you with a smile on my face that that’s my day off!
When your training has a rhythm, the benefits are many. You can easily gauge your progress from one week to the next. You can assess whether the model will be sustainable as the volume increases. And when the next recovery week arrives? You’ll feel the well-timed relief, both physical and mental, cascade over your body like pool water as you streamline off the wall.
Kramer & Newman famously debated on “Seinfeld” whether a given day of the week has a “feel.” Maybe Tuesday didn’t have a feel for a notoriously lazy postman, but it should have a distinct tenor for a triathlete. Don’t just ponder what you’re doing on a given day of training. Understand why you’re doing it and how it fits into the larger context of your training as you prepare to once again toe the starting line in 2021.