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Coming out of Hibernation for Triathletes

Posted on February 15, 2021 at 9:30 PM

So, you’ve been cooped up all winter. Maybe you’ve been putting in some base work or following a strength plan. Maybe you’ve been focusing on a single discipline. Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’ve taken some extended time off and are finally ready to get back into the swing of things.


At TST Perform we’re here to tell you that any of the above options are perfectly fine. As we approach the end of February, spring is right around the corner and maybe, just maybe, some races are beginning to pop up on the calendar. Not only that, but soon we’ll have more daylight in the evening which means it’s time to emerge from our winter hibernation.


When emerging from your winter hibernation it’s best to take things slow and steady. You should slowly begin to build back up some volume in all three disciplines. Take 4-8 weeks to slowly build yourself back up and maybe sprinkle in a little bit of intensity. Any intensity is best sprinkled in on the bike and in the swim.


As triathletes, we can build our aerobic engines through the three separate disciplines of swimming, cycling, and running as opposed to a single discipline. This means we can afford to take a more conservative approach to running since this is the discipline where injury is most likely to occur if we push too much too soon. That is, unless you’ve been focusing on your run this offseason. If we build your body back up properly at this point in the year, we are sure you’ll have a more successful and injury free 2021.


If you’re just emerging from your hibernation maybe your next 4-8 weeks of training, look something like this:


Swim: first 4 weeks are drill heavy as you get your feel back for the water. Sprinkle in some endurance focused 100-300 reps between drills and you’ll be set. From weeks 5-8 keep the drills in your week but now you can add in a pure quality focused swim a week and maybe one swim where you accumulate more aerobic volume.


Bike: first 4 weeks steadily increase weekly aerobic volume with one HIIT session per week. Try to get outside on the weekends and build up your long ride again. For weeks 5-8 you can begin to integrate some more intensity into your volume.


Run: For the first 4 weeks, slower/shorter runs should be your bread and butter. This will help your muscles and tendons adapt to the pounding of running again. Include a longer run on the weekend when/if you have more time but don’t push the pace. For weeks 5-8, slowly increase the duration of the long run and sprinkle in 1 run a week that includes a bit of tempo/ progression ranging from 6-8/10 RPE.


Follow these general guidelines for 4-8 weeks and you should emerge from hibernation ready to enter more race/goal specific work and set yourself up for a fruitful 2021.


And if you’ve read this far, then lucky for you we will be dropping a FREE 8-week Emerging from Hibernation Plan this Friday (2/19) on the TST website!


Stay tuned and Happy Training from your friends at TST Perform, Eric and Miles!


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