Session planning is a vital part of any training plan. Every time you go out to train there should be a plan behind that particular session. It could simply be "Recovery Run" but there should be a reason why you're doing that and that is exactly what you should do. Without planning you're just going out and exercising and although this is likely to see an improvement over time, with progressive planning you should be exercising the right muscle groups and get better results.
Here are a few tips about session planning: They should be......
Progressive, slowly getting harder over a period - not quite the same as periodisation.
They should be leading you to achieving a specific goal at a some time in the future.
Every session should exercise all muscle groups if possible.
Most sessions in all sports should include a period of doing drills.
Doing sprints and fast paced intervals are good in all sports.
Never go too far from speed - even in a long slow session it's good to plan some short fast elements.
All of the sessions we list here will be ones we have delivered as coaches to our athletes and will be appropriate for the time of year.
Your Very Own - Personal Triathlon Camp
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Pushing yourself slightly harder than you're comfortable with is a great way to push the boundaries in your swimming. In this session there is a good selection of kicking and drills before the main set of 20 x 50m done with decreasing rests.
The aim is to make sure the final 4 x 50m swims give you about 5s rest so you are really pushed to make the time. If you start the set aiming for a good rest period and reduce the rest as you go along you should be able to make the time. If you're a stronger swimmer then aim to maintain a given swim time on each swim.
There's a short 1/2 L max speed set to round things off.
In this session do a really good warm up and then spin your legs out because you're going into the hurt zone in the first 5 mins of the main set. IN the 5 minute segment you want to be pushing a gearing you couldn't maintain for a long time. The aim is to build lactate so you learn to flush lactate away while you're cycling.
In the next section go at your race intensity (Olympic or Sprint not Ironman) and in the final section take that back to your longer distance pace.
Track sessions are probably the most important sessions to hone your speed. Long Slow Runs are the backbone of your overall fitness but track sessions are ultimately controllable, so you can test your speed or make sure you can hold a pace, on a repeatable and measurable course.
Different distance runs make for running at different speeds and have different training effects. We'll take you through all these effects over the weeks so you train throughout the year using all your energy systems.
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Running a split distance run at above your 5k race pace is exceptionally good at getting your body used to running faster. In this session you should have a reasonable rest between runs (up to 1 minute) and that should enable you to keep the pace higher than on a continuous run over the same distance.