What percentage split should I spend on each discipline when training for triathlon

What percentage split should I spend on each discipline when training for triathlon

What percentage split per discipline is needed when training for a 70.3 triathlon? On today's episode of TRI with CoachParry, Rudolf and Brad discuss the breakdown of how you should spend your time training for your first 70.3 triathlon event.

If you're looking for triathlon programs, from sprint distance all the way through to full IronMan distance, be sure to check out our new CoachParry Online Training Platform. Here you will have access to the entire CoachParry library of exercises as well as to the members only forum where you can get all the guidance you need from Rudolf and all our other coaches.

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Training for a 70.3 Triathlon 


Welcome back on to the next edition of TRI with Coach Parry. My name is Brad. So we've got our triathlon coach Rudolf Naude with us once again today. Rudolf, nice to have you with us.

Thanks for having me again.

No worries. Let's talk about training for a 70.3 distance triathlon. We had a great question in our forums, on coachparry.com, from a novice who's training for their first 70.3, and they're trying to get the balance right. I think that's one of the biggest struggles when you first get into the sport and it probably never goes away, is getting the juggle right with regards to how much time you should be spending on each discipline. For someone starting out training for their first half Ironman distance triathlon, is there a rule of thumb or is it individual? What advice would you give to someone? How do you split it up? How much time should you spend on each of the disciplines?


How should you split up your triathlon training


I mean, it's very individualized, depending on your background, your sporting history, if you come from a swimming background, then obviously you don't need to spend so much time swimming, because you've really got that background. Same goes for cycling and running as well. So I would suggest working on your biggest weakness, to spend more time in that than what you usually would. Except if it's swimming, because swimming is such a short part of a half Iron Man, because I think the cutoff is between seven and a half or eight and a half hours. And the cutoff for the swim is one hour and 10 minutes. So that's a very, very short time that you're allocating towards swimming.

So if you're a novice swimmer and you're starting swimming, then I would do three or four sessions a week just to get a feel for the water in the pool. But as again, the cycling takes more than half of the time to complete the race. So I would say more than half of the time of the full training time for cycling, and then 33% to 40% on running. So break it up towards the percentages that the race is in swimming, cycling and running. But if you have a bigger weakness, and you have a strength, so if you're coming from a running background, but it's your first time cycling then you can get away with running a little bit less, but then cycling a bit more just to make up for that weakness.


Preparing for the swim


The swimming one's an interesting one for novices. Because I think it's the thing that freaks people out the most when it comes to doing a half Ironman or an Ironman triathlon. And especially if it is not a strength, if you don't come from a swimming background. People in my experience tend to try and focus too much on it and spend a lot of time there and not focus on the bike where you spend most of your time.

How important would you say it is for someone like that, to get help on the swimming, don't try and do it themselves, like get a swimming coach on deck to sort their technique out early on? Because in my experience that can go a long way to making you more efficient in the water, which then allows you to spend slightly less time in the water training and you can then focus on the other two disciplines.

Yes, like I said in previous podcasts, swimming is 70% technique and 30% fitness so you can get away with having a better technique than being fit. So going to a swim coach or a stroke analysis just to see what you're doing wrong and how can you improve, that will get you foster from point A to point B with using less energy.

And also another helpful tip is to get you and a few friends, go and have an open water swim. It doesn't have to be a race, but just five or six people swimming very close to each other in open water, just so you can get the feel of it that there's people close to you. You might not have the swim stroke that you have in the pool because someone's hitting you here and there.

So that also take the scariness out of the race because it's very scary if it's you plus 1000 of your best friends all of a sudden going towards one buoy, where in a swimming pool, it's you or two or three, maybe four people max in a lane. So that's another helpful tip that I would suggest is do a few open water swims, it doesn't have to be an official race, just you and five or six of your mates, swim close to each other just to get the feel of swimming open water.

Yeah, that'll definitely make a difference as well. If you need some help on your triathlon journey, be sure to check out the Coach Parry Online Training Platform head over to coachparry.com/triathlon. We've got you covered with training programmes right the way through from beginner sprint all the way to advanced Ironmen. You can access through our mobile app. There's a very active forum, you get access to all the coaches and a whole lot more so go check it out. That's coachparry.com/triathlon until next time for myself, Brad Brown, and Rodolf Naude it's cheers.


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