Skipping a workout in favor of recovery - tri-plan low volume

Quick intro, i’m new, been doing TR for about a month and a minute and have been cycling more steadily/seriously for the past year or so.

I’m wanting to fit 3 tris in this year, 2x sprint and 1 olympic distance and i’ve gone with the low volume plans of sprint and then of oly to match somewhat the race dates, my problem lies in the run workouts on the plan. I use a smart trainer along with chest strap hrm (also have a garmin vivoactive) and have noticed that i have trouble recovering in between workouts; my resting heart rate which is usually high 50s now sits in the high 60s all the time.
I can finish the bike workouts, they do feel hard, and i’m a newb at swimming so it still wrecks my recovery but if i add the run in, i find that my leg muscles get too tired to complete the bike workouts.

My ftp has already increased (+18pts woohoo) so workouts arent getting easier, do you think my body will eventually adapt and allow me to re-add those run workouts? I’m trying to make the bike leg my strongest followed by the run and then simply be able to finish the swim which is why i’m prioritizing the bike workouts over all others.

Some thoughts:
What’s your tri/sport background? Balancing all three can be tough if you’re not used to it (or even if you are).
Eating enough?
Sleeping enough?

I find the food and the sleep make a big difference in training plan compliance (for me).

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Hey there Philippe!

Your body will adapt eventually but you also don’t want to send yourself down a path that pushes you over the edge. Listening to your body is a key part of training and how you are feeling should not be ignored. If you need an off day, take an off day. If you need to do lower intensity one day, that’s totally okay! What you don’t want to do is train and train no matter what your body says and burry yourself. This is incredibly hard to come back from.

I would recommend checking out the following resources on how to measure recovery:

How to measure recovery using heart rate:

Episode 46 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast talks about avoiding overtraining as a triathlete:

Recognizing Overtraining:

I hope this all helps!

I’d written a long explanation but this will be better.

I’m new to tri. Virgin.

Cycling (beginner-intermediate) i’ve been exposed to for my commute. 25km each way i had to build up to.
Running (beginner w/ cobwebbs) i’ve done a lot when i was lighter, so i’v been subbing with skip rope on some days.
Swimming (neophyte) i’m kinda lost as i’ve never done swimming for distance/laps, only to survive.

I’ve increased the eating.
The sleeping i gotta work on…a lot.

Yeah i’ve had a bunch of experiences throughout my life where i didn’t listen to my body and paid dearly for it. Which is why i’ve been skipping some of the workouts. Thanks for the articles!

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Are you on low volume base? Sprint or oly?

Turning down the intensity or length of time is better than not training at all. :+1:

If you’re an average human being, you were probably eating too much before you started training and you won’t need to increase your food. Always look for better quality food though!

Sleep, don’t beat yourself up.
If you can’t sleep it’s because your body doesn’t want to - don’t fight it, just prep yourself every night to give yourself the best chance: Phone/laptop/internet off an hour before bed. Familiar book or tv repeats to wind down. Have a set bedtime/rise time weekday and weekend. You won’t become a robot, but it should help.

The TR tri plans plan for a rest week every 4th week. You should consider 2 weeks hard and 1 week recovery until your body can cope with training volume.

Read the thead of podcast 194 with Amber. She draws a very good line between functional and non-functional overreaching.

Sometimes it helps to just squeeze in 2 or 3 days if recovery. When you go back to training you might still feel exhausted and the feeling of being fresh is delayed be a couple of days.

You need to learn to read your body signs. In case of doubt go for an extra day of recovery.


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low volume base was just completed, i’ve just started low volume build, both for sprint.

my goal is to not touch intensity and grinding through, that way i’m discovering new limits (like 189 BPM during ramp test!?)

Food-wise, i was tracking my food intake vs cal expenditure while commuting i was under eating by a bit much, i don’t seem to have huge appetite in general unless i skip a meal and workout (then im just ravenous). i’m trying to increase the quality of food slowly but surely, now that i’ve got the workout habit in i can focus on the diet more. still got a few lbs to lose (it’ll help with the w/kg figures too hehe)

sleep im just not good at doing it between kids still waking mid-night and me liking the interwebs too much lol
work in progress

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Okay; swim easy. RPE 6, is not wrecking yourself. Turn it down to 4 and get your breathing like it’s a summer walk.
Run the day after your bike sessions. 30 mins flat run, easy, nose breathing, at lunch of time is a problem.
Bike, just tweak it down 5%.

How many commute rides are you doing?

Thank you!
Yeah my problem is the swim i’m developing from scratch, so managing to do a 100m means im out of breath by the end. I’m getting more comfortable and less out of breathe…but it still takes a bunch out of me as swimming doesn’t feel easy and natural yet (i’ve had 2 months so far of going twice a week, and its improved greatly so far).

I’ll try to get the runs back in, i just get so ‘excited’ for the bike and that i want to just push it to the max on it now so when commute starts again, my aerobic ‘zone’ will be at a higher speed than last year.

My commute is on hold during the winter, which is for the best… i’ll be resuming in spring when weather is comfortable again. But that’s going to add a whole lot of aerobic training to my olympic base. (2h per commute day!)
Hopefully by then i’ll have had enough adaptation to take on that load

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Take a look at (less costly solution) or (more costly solution). Both should help you with getting you up to speed - with some more guidance than just following the TR Tri plan.

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If you can get access to some in-person swim coaching (that fits in with your budget), consider making the investment.

And more frequent shorter sessions can also be more helpful.

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Do you have a Master’s swim around you? Find one with a coach on deck.

Swim more often for less time if possible.

I have my swims setup as my recovery from the run/bike. I also do my runs on fresh legs and bike on tired legs. Backwards from most folks, but I am building the run right now and don’t want tired legs messing up form and increasing injury risk. (I still do a brick 1x most weeks – 10 minutes after long ride).

Sounds like you have a TON of building going on. You are going to be tired. Kill the blue screens at night. Get some sleep. Measure the quality of your sleep (there are threads here on that). Figure out how to improve the quality if at all possible.