TRIATHLON >> EPS Triathlon Coaching Methodology

THE EPS TRIATHLON TRAINING METHODOLOGY

 
A question I am often asked is ‘why do you program training the way you do?’ The answer is related to the document “Getting the Most from Your Training” where I stressed that recovery from training is more important than the training itself in promoting improvement. This article explains the basis of the EPS weekly schedules and will supply you with the answers to any questions you may get about an EPS program. 

 Let us look first at a three week block at the Olympic or Iron(Wo)man level in times of intensity and recovery. It is taken for granted that technique is practised in ALL workouts regardless of intensity and/or duration.

Tony Benson

Level 3 Triathlon Coach

Wk 1

 

 

 

Aim

 

Workout

 

Cardiovascular

 

Muscle

 

Skeletal

 

Mon:

 

 

 

Tue:

 

 

 

Wed:

 

 

 

Thu:

 

 

 

Fri:

 

 

 

Sat:

 

 

 

 

 

Sun:

 

 

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

 

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

 

 

Swim

 

Run Drills

 

Cycle

 

Run

 

Swim

 

Run/Rest

 

Run

 

Cycle

 

Swim

 

Run/Rest

 

Ride?

 

Long Run

 

Rest/Swim

 

Long Ride

 

+ Run?

 

 

 

Speed

 

Speed Lactic Acid Tolerance

 

Aerobic Threshold

 

 

 

Recovery

 

Anaerobic Power

 

MVO2

 

 

 

Recovery

 

Recovery

 

Aerobic Conditioning

 

Recovery

 

Aerobic & Anaerobic Conditioning

 

Specific Adaption

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Moderate to Hard

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Moderate to Hard

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Moderate to Hard

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

 

 

Wk 2

 

 

 

Aim

 

Workout

 

Cardiovascular

 

Muscle

 

Skeletal

 

Mon:

 

 

 

Tue:

 

 

 

Wed:

 

 

 

Thu:

 

 

 

Fri:

 

 

 

Sat:

 

 

 

 

 

Sun:

 

 (am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

 

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

Swim

 

Run

 

Cycle

 

Run

 

Swim

 

Run/Rest

 

Run

 

Cycle

 

Swim

 

Run/Rest

 

Ride?

 

Long Run

 

Rest/Swim

 

Long Ride

 

+ Run

 

 

 

Speed

 

Speed & Anaerobic Power

 

Aerobic Power

 

 

 

Recovery

 

Anaerobic Power

 

MVO2 & Anaerobic Power

 

 

 

Recovery

 

Recovery

 

Aerobic Conditioning

 

Recovery

 

Strength & Aerobic Conditioning

 

Specific Adaption

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Easy

 

Hard

 

Easy

 

Moderate

 

Easy

 

 

 


Wk 3

 

 

 

Aim

 

Workout

 

Cardiovascular

 

Muscle

 

Skeletal

 

Mon:

 

 

 

Tue:

 

 

 

Wed:

 

 

 

Thu:

 

 

 

Fri:

 

 

 

Sat:

 

 

 

Sun:

 

 (am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

(pm)

 

(am)

 

Rest/Swim

 

Rest/Jog

 

Cycle TT

 

Rest/Jog

 

Swim TT

 

Rest/Ride

 

Run TT

 

Rest/Ride

 

Rest/Swim

 

Rest

 

Combo

 

Rest

 

Rest

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Race Specific/MVO2

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Race Specific/MVO2

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Race Specific/MVO2

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Rest or Aerobic Recovery

 

Rest

 

Race Specific/All Systems

 

Rest

 

Rest

 

E

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

Moderate

 

E

 

Easy

 

E

 

Moderate

 

E

 

E

 

E

 

Hard

 

E

 

E

 

 

As you read through this document you will note that the weeks shown above encompass some ~120 parameters. Of these ~60 (50%) are rated as ‘easy’, ~30 (25%) are ‘moderate’ and ~30 (25%) are rated as ‘hard’. Swimming accounts for ~10 of the ‘hard’ parameters, cycling for ~12 and running for ~8. The moderate workouts are: swimming ~4, cycling ~7 and running ~19. The ‘easy’ workouts are: swimming ~13, cycling ~8 and running ~24 with days or sessions ‘off’ accounting for the rest.

Secondly you will see that it will be extremely difficult to construct a programme in any other way and still maintain a three-tiered ‘hard/moderate/easy’ structure for anyone who is working during the week. This is why.
  1. The Long Ride. Time suggests this has to be done on either Saturday or Sunday and safety in terms of the amount of traffic on the road means Sunday is the preferable option.

     

  2. The Long Run. Due to the fact that the long ride is on Sunday time dictates this is best done on Saturday.

     

  3. The combined effect of training extensively on both Saturday and Sunday dictates that Friday (to prepare for the weekend) and Monday (to recover from the weekend) must be ‘easy’ or ‘leg easy’ at least.

     

  4. The fact that Monday and Friday must be ‘leg easy’ dictates that Tuesday and Thursday will be ‘leg hard’. This means Wednesday must be ‘leg easy’. It also means a serious athlete will attempt to train twice on Tuesday and Thursday as hard run or ride workouts cannot be done on Wednesday by anyone other than full or near full time athletes – and they will train 2-3 x day anyway!

     

  5. The combined effect of all of the above dictates that hard swimming, (an ‘arm hard’ activity) is best done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and if any swimming is done on Tuesday, Thursday and/or Saturday it should be recovery/technique swimming as this will not only improve swimming but it will also aid leg recovery provided it is done after the running and/or cycling is finished AND it is done easy enough not to interfere with swimming on Wednesday and Friday.

     

  6. Other effects of the long run on Saturday and the long ride on Sunday.
a)    Monday run drill and speed development workout must be done on ‘fresh’ legs. The Monday immediately following the TT/Recovery week is ideal and doing it early in the second week so 36 to 48 hrs after the Saturday long run is the optimum position for this workout.

 

b)      Tuesday cycle speed/power workout should also be done as fresh as possible so again it is best done in the first week following a Sunday ‘off’ and early in the second week some 40 to 42 hrs after the long ride is the optimum position.

 

c)       The threshold or aerobic power run workout MUST be done on Tuesday because the ‘slow’ twitch fibres need 72 hrs + to recover from the long run and 24 to 36 hours is plenty of time between a ‘fast’ twitch session and a ‘slow’ twitch one. Further it does not matter that the legs may be tired from the (am) explosive cycle session because the workout is heart rate controlled and speed is less relevant than it is in the more race specific Thursday run workout.

 

d)      The run workout MUST be done first on Thursday because this is either a race specific workout or a race pace workout and as such MUST be done reasonably fresh to ensure it promotes specific running economy.

 

e)       This leaves to aerobic power or threshold type cycle session for the Thursday evening – which is ok – because again it has more to do with heart rate and effort than actual speed and so long as the effort is there the training effect will be optimal.

 

f)        Finally given the number of ‘hard’ and ‘moderate’ impacts in Weeks 1 & 2 the Recovery week is clearly essential as close to 50% of the ‘easy’ workouts, ie, rest, are in this week.

 

Tony Benson

 

© Endurance Performance Systems 2000-

Editor’s Note

 

1. Those on HP programmes should note that while they may have structured workouts listed in many places where “Rest” or “Rest/” appears in the schedules above the principles behind a HP programme remain the same. For example a run and a ride may be done on a Wednesday but the athlete must still be well conditioned enough to come up fresh for the Thursday morning run workout. If the athlete is not able to perform  regular high quality workouts when it is demanded of them all the extra miles and workouts will not help him/her in the least.

 

2. Remember triathlon training is not a simplistic as "running after riding" - something I hear regularly - any more than a decathlete does 100m training first and 110mH fifth and 1500m last. It’s about arriving at a balance between the Cardio-vascular, the Musclo-skeletal and the Neuro-muscular systems and about ensuring skill training precedes gross training. For this reason an inappropriate cycle workout can lessen the value of a run workout (and vice-versa naturally). Classic examples of this are riding a heavy endurance session BEFORE running a high quality run workout or doing a threshold run before a speed/power bike.
Swimcyclerun

 

 

 

 

Allinta CMS logo www.allinta.com