Winter training - what does it take?

Now May is here, the season has started and winter training has officially ended.

I think that this year is my big year in terms of winter build up, I don’t see myself repeating it again, at least not for a while.

When I started on my triathlon journey, I had no idea what level of training, or what level of performance would be required to get up towards the top end of my age group. I hope that by sharing this, people will be able to set the own goals and manage their own expectation

So looking back from 1st Jan to 30 April this is my summary
Hours - 223 Hours, thats 1h51m every day
Cycling - 3,690 km, 49,990m climbed, 205w AP and 29.5kmh average speed
Running - 710 km, 6,400m climbed, 4:55m/km average pace
Swimming - 59km, 1:51m/km
Weight - down 10kg from 79.3kg to 69.3kg
FTP - from 270W to 315W
W/KG - from 3.4 to 4.5
VO2max - from 54 to 66 (bike)
Threshold - from 4:38m/km to 4:07m/km
CTL - from 59 to 136

In 10 days I start my taper for 70.3 St Pölten

Last year in 70.3 Switzerland my time was 5h1m, this year in Austria, I am hoping to go sub 4h40m (which is a massive drop), with most of the time coming from bike and run


I went sub 4:40 in StP on less training than that…you must be doing something wrong :wink::rofl::upside_down_face:

Maybe you’ll do 4:30…

Maybe you were younger, had a better base fitness or were more naturally talented (probably all 3). And you get a free 5+ minutes on the swim that I will never get

Nothing is free, it’s called swim training :wink:

Correct on the age bit; I was 36.

Regarding base. I find that if you’re committed, as most of us are, you soon reach a plateau. I am merely trying to defy the ageing process now. Look at Poet, his gains have been excellent in his early comeback; I also went from a long hiatus to 10:0* Ironman in 12 months, and have never really moved on from that.

Continuing with the consistent base now, just means less of a panic come race season, and I only need to add the specific long sessions in the 3 sports i.e. I’m not doing a JeffB :yum:

Cheers Jorgan.
I barely did anything for five years, but the base was there.
I could feel my lungs were willing, just not my legs. And I’ve asthma :wink:

I could “swim” as a child, but I never swam with a club. My first pool triathlon was in a 33m pool and I scraped an 8:16 for the 400m.
Two/three years later and I’m a consistent sub6 400m swimmer.

Like Jorgan has said many, many, many times.
Triathletes only pay lip service to swimming.
My opinion, being a weaker cyclist, is that if I can comfortably get out with the 30/60 minute crew, the bike is so much easier.

There is no shortcut.
Just years of consistent, varied, interesting, training.
Make the hard stuff hard and the easy stuff easy.
You’ll remain injury free, for the most part, by relaxing and skipping a few sessions if you can’t be bothered, too.

Winter is for weaknesses. Which for 99% of triathletes is the swim.

I can’t see myself ever clocking up those kind of hours so chapeau for that,but for crying out loud man, could you not have managed another 10 meters of climbing :wink:

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I was a bit shorter than that, and 49,990 is the result even after I went into elevation correction on Garmin to find the missing meters.

Good point Poet, and I know that I do neglect the swim. but not disastrously so; I spend 12% of my time swim training, in a 70.3/IM the Swim is around 12.5% of the total time. The issue with swimming is that it is after work, and I need to spend some time at home. I can cycle to work, run in my lunch break, and the pool is packed at the weekend, but it is easy to come up with excuses.

But if you want to improve, you need to devote a disproportionate amount of time to swimming, at least for a period of time. I get the convenience thing, swimming is a pain logistically, for most people.

Move house, or jobs, to be closer to a pool :rofl: