Full X Ultra Triathlon Training Plan

12239300_1073154279384390_1040064053701731927_o (1)With just coming up to 13 weeks prior to the event and depending on how we have structured our training, we have now done all the long and slow (base) miles in the dark and are heading to a large block of building/sweetspot intensity up towards race specificity at about 6 weeks out from the event.

You also want to start using the energy that you will be using during the event, Mountain fuel are proving to be the choice nutrition of our countries leading endurance athletes and are supporting this event so make the most of our 15% discount code ‘FullxUltraTri’ which can be used in the Mountain Fuel shop.

That gives us 7 weeks of Zone 3 and Sweetspot training, this is a phrase give to an effort just around 94-95% of your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). I would try to do a Zone three session once a week and maybe two sessions in my Sweetspot but for less time.

To find your LTHR do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). Again, it should be done as if it was a race for the entire 30 minutes. But at 10 minutes into the test, click the lap button on your heart rate monitor. When done, look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes. That number is an approximation of your LTHR.

Callum HughesI have ridden the route of the bike course every year for the past 5 years and it never gets easier, one thing that is always obvious is that your cadence is going to be very slow on the climbs, so start practising some of this in training. I’ve put a session below that I use for slow cadence work but remember that you will still need to practise riding a faster cadence when not going up hill.

15 minute warm up – build intensity to have a light sweat by the end of your warm up

20 minutes in Zone 3 – use the entire zone and don’t just sit at the top of it

5 minutes spinning easy

5 x 1 minute 60rpm in sweetspot straight in to 15 second standing at same cadence and then 45 seconds spin recovery (your heart rate won’t respond immediately so judge it based on effort or select just one harder gear than when you were in Zone 3)

20 minutes in Zone 3 – use the entire zone and don’t just sit at the top of it

20 minute warm down – sip on your recovery shake for this to help aid the delivery to your muscles

In terms of running, now is the time to get out on the trails and leave the safety of the gym for now. you can do similar in terms of Zone 3 work using Functional Threshold Pace (FTP).

Callum HughesDetermine your Functional Threshold Pace (FTP) using either a runner’s GPS device or. To do this, warm up and then run for 30 minutes as hard as possible. Your FTP is your average pace for the entire 30 minutes (not the last 20 minutes). This is best done early in the Base period and then every 4 to 6 weeks thereafter. The more times you do this test the more accurate your FTP will become.

Your Zones can then be determined as below:

Zone 1 Slower than 129% of FTP
Zone 2 114% to 129% of FTP
Zone 3 106% to 113% of FTP
Zone 4 99% to 105% of FTP
Zone 5a 97% to 100% of FTP
Zone 5b 90% to 96% of FTP
Zone 5c Faster than 90% of FTP

If you haven’t had a recent service or a bike fit on your bike then now is also the time to make sure it’s working and has the correct gearing. Visit your local bike shop and see what they can offer. I am a Retul Bike Fitter and a Specialized Body Geometry fitter but also understand that there are other bike fit systems available. Do your research and be sure you are in a comfortable and economic cycling position now so that you have plenty of time to adapt if there is much change.

Happy training

Callum Hughes