Warm Spring Days are Good Training Days

By Chris Yuen

For those who live in the Northeast, the warmer weather has finally arrived, and many triathletes finally take their bikes outside, and enjoy the sun and spring scenery while spinning. As for me who is not aiming to podium, I just want to train, be prepared, and to complete the Welland Rose City Triathlon in June as well as Barrelman later in the season.

Because enjoyment is my goal and being able to go through race day without severely bonking (aka “hitting the wall”), consistency and base building are key in my training. Again, I must emphasize my plan below is not to aim for fast finish times on races, but to build adequate fitness to get through these endurance races. So, my training plan includes the following aspects:

  • For each discipline swim, bike, and run, two to three workouts each week until taper.
  • Do not go hard on every workout.  More than half of the duration is low intensity and easy.
  • Do not train in a workout all in one single pace.  Try a few paces in every workout to work on different heart zones.
  • Practice nutrition during long workouts.

For example, over the last weekend, I used the bike partroling volunteer opportunity at the Grand Island Half Marathon as a workout. For the sake of background, my triathlon club has been volunteering for years to go bike patrolling in smaller local half marathon races. This is to make sure that the runners on route are safe, and we carry extra water bottles in case of the runners needed them before reaching to the next aid station. Of course, we also try to be encouraging and cheering on the runners when they need motivation to get through tough secations. All in all, I did this for several years, and it has been a great way to connect with the community. Anyways, back to the workout, last weekend’s patrolling was one of my bike workouts. While it was very low intensity to ride about 35 km following runners, I managed to get a couple miles of higher intensity after all the runners completed the race and the route was free and clear. Thus, with the different pacing at the end, this volunteer work has practically all of the aspects listed above.

I am looking forward to the Welland Rose City Triathlon weekend in June. I signed up for both the long course (2 km swim – 56 km bike – 15 km run) on Saturday and sprint race (750 m swim – 20 km bike – 5 km run) on Sunday. So for the bike portion, I will need to build up the distance in a gradual manner. That’s what the warmer spring days are for.