Training Diaries: Chattanooga 70.3 – Volume 1
Official training for Chattanooga 70.3 has kicked off for me. This year, I am going to try and document my complete training cycle for you building up to this event in May 2022. The goal is to provide you with a little more insight into how I train, why I do what I do, and hopefully share some nuggets of information that you can implement into your own training!
I’ve come out of my off season with some loss in fitness (on purpose)! November and December saw my overall weekly volume drop from an average of 16 hours of training per week down to 11 hours of training per week. Intensity of training went completely away, and I even took a few days off of NO training, which is a big deal for me. This year I did not do any specific off-season work (i.e., a strength training block or cycling block) but stuck to my normal routine, just with reduced hours/volume/intensity.
The Set Up
This year my ATP (annual training plan) is set up a little differently. I use Training Peaks, and in Training Peaks, you have the ability to set up your ATP one of two ways. The first is the most traditional method. You choose your current fitness status (strong or weak) as well as the number of weekly hours you’d like your big volume weeks to be. From there, Training Peaks sets up your Base, Build, Peak training weeks with the targeted number of hours you need to train each week. The second method is based off the TSS (Training Stress Score). There are a few ways to determine how much weekly TSS you would like to target, but I chose to target a specific Fitness (CTL) number. This was done because I had a strong season last year, as well as several years of data to look back on to determine what my CTL was on my best race days. Plugging in the numbers, Training Peaks built my plan with the targeted amount of TSS I need to accumulate each week during my training cycles to get me to my goal CTL for race day.
Base Phase Training
My official base phase training started late December (and lasts until the first week of March) kicking it off with a lot of endurance cycling for the Rapha Festive 500 (ride 500 km in eight days, Dec. 24-31st). For me, base phase training consists mostly of aerobic work and longer endurance efforts to build a strong aerobic foundation. I do have one caveat, which I’ll get to in a minute. I use periodization with my training therefore base phase training is the start of my periodized training that goes base – build – peak/taper – race.
Swimming – All my swimming right now is aerobic endurance efforts to short tempo (slower than your threshold pace) efforts. My swims range anywhere from 1800 yards to 4000 yards per session.
Cycling – This is my one caveat. In addition to triathlon, I am on an e-sports cycling team (KRT – Kiss Racing Team) that participates in the Zwift Racing League. Season 2 races are currently going on, so each week I am doing one very high intensity race on the trainer. My other weekly cycling sessions are recovery or aerobic efforts.
Running – Most of my running is also aerobic. I run 60-90 minutes during a session and have 2-4 runs per week (based on the amount of TSS I need to hit for the week). One run session is done at the track, but I am not doing any threshold or VO2 work. These sessions consist of tempo type efforts never allowing my heart rate to climb out of control. The other sessions are steady paced aerobic runs.
Strength Training – My weekly sessions consist mostly of working on my limiters (hips and glutes) and a lot of core work.
As I go along this journey of documenting my training, I’ll discuss specific workouts I do and why. For now, this blog is getting lengthy, so I’ll wrap up here! If you have questions about setting up your training with TSS, I’d be happy to chat with you about it. You can send me an email at: email@example.com.