A Week in the Life of a Triathlete

It’s been a good, but long week for me, a major public worldwide event at work. While it was amazing, I’m exhausted. I didn’t have to travel anywhere, but I had to work late hours. Which I really don’t mind, the build up of fatigue is something we often forget about. I wanted to share what a week in my life is like…but…no week is the same for me.

Triathletes come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Our training schedule depends on our upcoming race schedules and desired outcomes. I started in triathlon in 2012, really by accident (read: a bet that was alcohol fueled). I kinda trained, but as I got more serious I decided I needed a coach to help me shape my training. After doing 2 Ironmans and countless other races, I was tired of just ‘winging’ it.

Training is like a second job. You spend your time juggling work, life, and everything else that comes your way to get those sessions in. People always ask how I do it? Well, I make the time…sometimes I don’t.

I’ve put together a ‘Week in the life’ …

I am going to use a full week of training from August (I know, have a I mentioned how big my backlog for blogs is?). I am using that week because it was in the lead up to a ‘B’ race an my training was ‘peaking’ – meaning it was at the top range of commitment that week. I had entered a race that I had not trained for, but threw into my schedule to spice things up. My focus is Middle distance, also known as ‘Half Ironman’ and this year I threw in a 14k river swim that I had wanted to conquer (it was also rolled over from 2019).

I start my weeks on a Monday, because that is when work starts and I do heavier training throughout the weekend.

Monday:

Wake up and make an almond milk and protein powder concoction.

7am: Morning swim set totalling about 3k – The swim includes various types of efforts (this week was threshold stuff)

Worked all day, then shuffled over to a tri club session for a 2k easy swim in the lake (lake swimming in summer is GLORIOUS), this was more of a ‘mental sanity’ session than actual training.

Tuesday:

Wake up – another protein powder concoction

8am: Bike Session – 1 hour of sub threshold efforts out on the road. There was a lot of road works, so the ride was a bit more ‘stop and go’ than planned

Worked all day

6pm – Another bonus lake swim – 1km – met with friends and had a bit of a social time drinking tea and coffee post swim

Wednesday:

Started work a bit earlier.

Noon: Bike session on the Turbo. Weather was super wet this day (alongside lightning and thunder) and I needed to focus on hitting hard efforts. This was a great midday break from work, quite often I try to train over lunch to break up the work day and clear my head.

1pm: Run off the bike – aka The Brick Run – Immediately after (yes, immediately…no break, no stopping) I throw on my run shoes and into a 30 minute run. This session was set to run at any pace. My legs felt good, but remember that rain storm? Yep, ran through the rain (it’s so cooling), until the rain drops turned into driving rain that pelted you like golf balls.

Yoga: should have done this today, but… I didn’t. Oops.

Thursday:

6am: Lake Swim – 6km. I was up around 5am, fueling with breakfast then straight to the lake. This swim was the LONGEST swim that I had ever done up until that point. The swim went well, but my shoulders were SORE. There were very HIGH winds which caused the lake to get a current and build-up of waves, making it like swimming in an ocean.

Noon: 1 hour Massage – well earned if you ask me!

Friday:

Because I have a 14k swim coming up, I have another pool swim today. I passed, like hard pass. My coach likes to say, ‘Strike while the iron is hot!’ Sorry coach, I am out on this one.

I missed this session, life happens, things happen. Most importantly, I don’t chase missed sessions. This was something I was really bad at before. I also don’t get a ‘rest day’ in my training anymore. Those two things have made a big difference in how I train.

So yes, this became an accidental/unplanned rest day

Saturday:

Race Prep Day – Just an easy 45 minute bike ride and 20 minute run off the bike again. This day is used to just move the legs, check that the bike is in working order

6pm: Yoga/Deep Stretch session.

Sunday:

RACE DAY!

This wasn’t an ‘A’ race for me, but a day to throw some spice into my training.

4am alarm, getting straight into the car to drive to the race venue. Ate my usual pre-race meal of pastries (that’s a whole other story on its own), arriving at the race venue to register then rack my bike.

7am: Race Start – This was my first mass start in a race since before Covid it was awesome!

9:45am: Finished! I completed the Box End Olympic distance triathlon as 8th female overall and 4th in my age group. I had the 2nd fastest female bike split of the day and placed 6th fastest female on the swim (not my strongest sport).

Monday:

7am: 2.5k Pool Swim – I was pretty wiped, kept it to easy efforts and focused on technique swimming

5pm: 30 min easy jog into 30 minute run core stability strength session

No Rest Days

If you followed along, you’ll see that I had an accidental rest day, but I don’t actually have a rest day in my training. Different methods work for different people, but I found a light session with an easy pace works really well for me. It keeps my momentum going throughout the week. I have had a dedicated rest day in the past, but doing something light was better than not doing anything at all. This topic could really open a can of worms, so I’ll leave it for another day.

Now it’s getting into winter training (i.e. base training), focusing more on the run and strength training. I’ll post about my training in a couple weeks as I get into my winter training block.

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