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Rest days are required

This the eighth in a series of training tips leading up to the Mr. T’s Kids of Steel & Sprint Triathlon Sunday, June 19 with proceeds going to the NOFYSS Mara House project.

Brian Travelbea

For The Morning Star

What is a day off? Why do I need time off from training? Undoubtedly one of the hottest topics in my coaching world!

Whatever your comfort level is regarding the days off, know that these days are some of the most important days of your training schedule.

We all require time off to allow our bodies to heal and prepare for more training ahead. Think of it. If all you did was load, load, load, where is the time to allow your body to get fitter and faster? By loading up and resting, you become an intelligent athlete.

Trust me on this. Had I not gone through this learning experience myself, I would not be so convinced.

Athletes, for the most part, have a difficult time taking time off no matter how much they believe in the importance of it. Triathletes somehow convince themselves that one more workout won’t be harmful. This is what separates the intelligent from the could-be-intelligent triathlete.

As I have mentioned already, it is during recovery time or days off that training gains occur and the body becomes stronger and fitter. Sometimes more than one day off is required depending on the previous workload.

Sure signs of needing a day off include: irritability, restless sleep, loss of appetite and lack of motivation.

So what exactly is a day off? Exactly that. Those two little words..... DAY OFF. No training, no little spins, runs or swims. Oddly enough, neither massage nor physiotherapy should be done on a day off. Or if you need to, have it in the early morning.

The day off is a good day, so enjoy it! Do not feel guilty!

Recovery Week

16yrs - Adult:

Swim: 1x week warm up 4 x 25m rest 15 sec/ea - main set 8 x 100m rest 20 sec/ea 100m - cool down 4x25 (50m kick 25m back 25m breast 20 sec/ea).

Brick: 1x week ride 45min steady, run 15 min.

Run: 1x week 25min steady (10 min run, 1 min walk x2 is OK).


Swim: 1x week 4x25m rest 20 sec/ea - 3x150m steady rest 30 sec/ea 1x200m cool down 100m (50 kick 25breast 25 backstroke).

Brick: 1x week ride 1hr (add hills -run 15 min steady).

Run: 1x week 30 min as steady as possible.


Swim: 1x week warm up 2x25m - free main set- 2x50m rest 20 sec/ea 2x75m rest 20 sec/ea cool down-kick 2x25m rest 20 sec/ea 2x25m 25 breast-25 back.

Brick: ride 45 min steady (hills are good) run 10 min.

Run: warm up easy run 5 min - 2x 1 lap of track rest, jog 100m - 1 x 2 laps of track keeping it steady - cool down 1 lap walk and run easy.


Swim: 1x week warm up 2x25m kick rest 30sec/ea 4x 1/2 pool (12m) free swim; swim under water and see if you can better last week’s distance (2x), swim 2 x 25m tread water if you have to.

Brick: bike 15 min then run directly after 5 min (remember a short walk is OK).

Run: warm up easy run 1 min walk 1 min x3 -  challenge yourself to run 2x Polson track non stop.

Confidence: Keep going – you know you can make it!