Base camp

This week marks the beginning of training proper at EGTC. As I mentioned in previous posts October has focused largely on swimming technique but now it's time to start building up the fitness. While I have obviously been a good boy and running on my own during the week (well most of the time) I now need to sum up the motivation for an extra running session on Saturday with the club after our swim. Also Tuesday night sees the first turbo training session of the training year. I'm trying to be organised this week so have actually planned out what I intend to write about each day. I will therefore give a fuller explanation of what turbo training entails in the next few days. But in a nutshell it involves attaching a device to your racing bike to turn it into an exercise bike.

So on paper this week I intend to have a weights session at the gym today, a session on the treadmill and a swim tomorrow morning, turbo training tomorrow evening, a rest Wednesday, a 7km run Thursday morning, the EGTC swimming session Thursday night, rest Friday. Then a Saturday swim session with the club followed by the first coached running session. But then guess what? Smug Running Guy is coming over to stay at the weekend and he wants to run the 7km loop with me on Sunday. I think I am going to be a broken man this time next week!

While this sounds like a lot (it certainly does to me, what the flip am I doing?!) this part of the training season is called the "base" period. Effectively the training cycle for the year involves the "base" period (which lasts around 12-15 weeks) followed by the "build" period (around 15 weeks). Finally there is the "peak" period. As the name suggests this is when you should be at your best and is a month or so before you start racing. However this seems to be the time where I pick up man flu messing up all the work I've been doing for the previous months. Anyway this period is then followed by the "race" period. I'm sure you can work out what that entails.

According to Joe Friel, author of The Triathletes Training Bible the philosophy behind "periodisation" training is akin to the fact that to build a sturdy house you need to have good strong foundations. The foundation building for me will be the "base" period. While I'm sure we won't be sipping cocktails at the side of the pool or taking leisurely strolls round East Grinstead the idea is that the training sessions during this time will be relatively gentle to build up strength and endurance for the later training stages. So as the season progresses the number of training sessions stays the same but the intensity of these will increase. So here's hoping I can build some decent foundations without the builders taking too many fag breaks.


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