By Marcel Walkington, Professional Australian Triathlete, Team Brooks Athlete
Triathlon has quickly become a key part of my life over the past few years. For me, it requires a lot of dedication with many hours invested into training and making myself the best athlete I can be. Of course, at the end of the day, I enjoy what I do and I am proud with where I am, yet I am always striving to squeeze that bit more out of my body.
So, what does my typical week of training look like? Well here is a sample of a week of training which I recently completed:
60-minute jog, 5km swim, gym, massage
One of my favourite things to do is to wake up and go for a jog first thing in the morning. I find it really relaxing and a great way to start the day (and week). Monday also features a hard threshold swim session and strength “prehab” gym. I also make sure to have a massage at least once a week.
4-hour bike with hill efforts, 70-minute run.
A longer ride with the focus on hill efforts to build strength in the legs. A typical training session would be 6 x 4-minute hill repeats or 4 x 10-minute repeats, depending on what races I have upcoming. The run is again aerobic.
60-minute run, 4.5 km swim, gym, 2-hour bike
These days are one of my longest. The run and bike sessions are both aerobic, but the swim is hard once again. The main set for hard swims are usually around 2.5-3 km.
60 – 70-minute run including run session, 4.5km swim, 2-hour bike
On the days I have a run session, I like to do them fresh before my other training. A run session usually involves hill efforts or threshold efforts depending on what the focus is. The session can be anywhere between 5km and 12km in distance. The swim is a “strength” swim with a pull buoy/paddles/band set and the bike is aerobic.
2-hour bike, gym
One of my favourite days of the week because it is recovery day! Friday is my day to look forward to and recover the body to prepare for the weekend of hard training.
Bike/Run “brick” session, 3 – 3.5 km swim
The focus for Saturday is more race specific work. The bike and run “brick” session may involve doing ride-run repeats or simply a run off the bike. Usually there will be around 40 – 60 minutes of hard work on the bike and 20 minutes of run efforts. The swim is either an open water swim session or a sprint swim session in the pool.
Long run, anywhere between 1.5 – 2 hours
Another one of my favourite days is the long run. I find them a great way to relax and clear the mind. Depending on how close my next race is would determine how long I run for.
Obviously, training may differ week to week depending on the time of the year and how far out from racing I am. In the lead up to a race, the training will ease off and typically result in shorter sessions. Rest days don’t always particularly mean a complete day off training but usually involve doing a shorter aerobic session.
My main advice that I give people when they ask me “what’s the most important part of triathlon training” is consistency. The biggest improvements I have found from myself come after stringing together multiple weeks of training and not missing sessions. In order to do this involves having trust in your coach and sticking to the training schedule and making sure to do the hard sessions hard and the easy ones easy. This also includes doing the other things outside of training such as recovery; making sure you fuel your body appropriately before and after sessions as well as having regular massages to avoid injury.
Triathlon can be a great sport to be involved with; whether you are doing it to meet new friends, keep fit or chase triathlon glory, there is always a place for everyone. And if you are new to the sport it very easy to get started with many local triathlon clubs and events in Australia.
Read more on Marcel Walkington.
Feature Image – Kye Wylde