Training between (triathlon) races

Hi all,

I’m working through half distance triathlon base mid-volume with 2 weeks left before I move into the corresponding build and specialty phases. This will take immediately into my first race - Pay D’Aix 70.3 12th May - LOVE the calendar feature for making it so easy to manage the timing.

I’m then doing:
Olympic tri - 12th June (4 weeks later)
Olympic tri - 28th July (6 weeks later)
70.3 (A race) - 22nd Sept (8 weeks later)

So I’m wondering how I should structure my training between races to allow enough time for recovery, tapering, and most importantly putting me in the best place for my A race in September.

If it’s not unrealistic I’m hoping to increase my FTP by 10-15% between my first 70.3 and my A race 70.3 - I’ll have 4 months so that feels realistic…

4 weeks is not very long, I would recover for a week and then maintain your fitness during that time, ending with a short taper only. In my first year I had 2 times 4 weeks between events and it left almost no chance to build new fitness over that whole period.

6-8 weeks give you space to do stuff so recover, build a few weeks and then taper (might want to do a short taper only for your oly and a proper for the A race)

Matt Dixon talked about this during one of his question sessions in the purple patch podcast somewhere the past 1-2 months. Maybe you can look it up!

10 - 15% increase in 4 months is quite ambitious if you are already well trained. Especially when not just focusing on cycling but taking 2 other sports into account. Good luck though

As @schmidt says 4 weeks isn’t a great deal of time especially if you are looking to include a recovery and taper week.

How you approach it really depends on how important you see the Olympic Distance Races. If you are genuinely looking at the September Race as an A race are you willing to sacrifice the other 2 as training races or do you want to perform optimally at either of those?

To a large extent that will frame how you could lay your season out.

Edit: sorry, missed that you’ve aligned a specialty into the first race already…

Why not start 70.3 Build (8 weeks) after your first 70.3 - run the first four weeks, recovery into your June Oly, THEN take a week or a few days of just noodling about to recharge your body and your brain. Ramp test, then conduct weeks 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the 70.3 Build into your July Oly. Then conduct 70.3 Specialty as aligned.

Alternately, you could do the first four weeks of 70.3 Build into your June race, then do Oly MV or HV Build (similar stress, but new/different workouts as a change) immediately after into your July race, then 70.3 specialty.

I would probably opt for the second idea since the thought of doing the same exact build/specialty repeatedly would probably cause me to get bored.

Thanks all, awesome advice.

I should have made it clearer - the first 70.3 is a test run to prep for the A race and the 2 Olympics are mainly for fun, although I want to do well. I feel I can recover from an Olympic pretty quickly.

In which case I’d work backwards from the September race with the Speciality plan and see how a build and possibly some of the base plans fit. You might need to move a recovery week slightly forwards or backwards to make it fit but you should be able to make it work.

I’m also with @kurt.braeckel - repeating plans relatively close together would for me potentially lessen the motivation seeing the same sessions over again so I’d try to mix it up a little bit. YMMV of course.

My recommendations on the recovery weeks were more for a mental recharge. You may be different, but I start to struggle near the end of a six-month training cycle. You’re looking at a nine-monther. I wouldn’t stay motivated doing the same training repeatedly for nine months. I would want to shake it up a little, hence my recommendation to spice it up with the Oly build. Again, the stress is similar, you’re not going to lose the aerobic base, and you might push your FTP higher, then you go back to 70.3 specialty and really dial in your time at 0.8-0.85 IF.

I’d definitely try to find a week after the first 70.3 to just take off entirely from structured training and eat some fun stuff or drink some good beer to give myself a mental break, then come back hard at the A race.

@JamesFarnhill 10-15% FTP increase in 4 months does seem quite unrealistic (but it’s great to have a goal). If I could increase my FTP from 306 to 351 before April, I would be besides myself.

As far as how to arrive in your best shape for September’s A race, the recommendation would be to make sure you align your Specialty phase so it ends precisely when it needs to for that race, and then schedule in the Build phase appropriately.

For the past two seasons I have had A races in May and September. My strategy was to have Sweet Spot Base 1 and 2 finished in time to allow me to knock through Half Tri Build, arriving at my May race. I then re-Build and then Specialize in time for September.