Week in Review – triathlon training

I was super-happy with my week last week, a fantastic week in all respects (other than occasionaly having to work a few longer hours than I would have liked!!)

10 and a half hours of training – the most I’ve managed in months! That was…..

– three days cycle commuting
2 swim session
2 strength sessions (one upper body, one lower body)
– 1 spin class
1 threshold run
1 long run
1 long(ish) cycle

bikes in carsPacking up in London for a wonderful day exploring the South Downs

This is the height of the ‘build’ phase of my triathlon training (I’m now 8 weeks out) and this week now will be my last week before I take a rest week, and then move into more interval training. I’m thinking of cutting out both the strength sessions and replacing them with more fast runs and cycles, while keeping in one longer cycle and run to build on endurance during the weekends.

My swim session looked like this:

100m front-crawl warm-up – slow and getting progressively faster. (Yes I can do this now! I have more than one swim speed!!!! This is pretty good progress for me!) As my pool is only 20m the warm-up saw me at the ‘wrong end’ so I did one length of slow breast stroke.

Then I began a CSS test – this is a test to determine your threshold speed for swimming. You start with a 400m sprint. I’d never attempted to swim 400m fast in a spring before and so wasn’t sure how fast I could push myself, especially at first. I ended with a time of 8min 5 seconds.

I then recovered, swimming 2 lengths of breast stroke as well as taking a big rest break until my heart rate was completely back down, before setting off on a 200m sprint – 3min 40 seconds. Once my swim was over, I put the speeds into the calculator on the Swim Smooth website and it informed me that my CSS speed was 2:12 / 100m. Okay, glad I know that, now I have absolutely no idea how to make sure I am swimming at that speed during my training! I sense this will take a bit of trial and error and will begin this tomorrow morning.

That done, I set off into a 500m drill of two lengths with a pull buoy between my legs, two lengths standard front crawl. Then 200m of two lengths kicking and two lengths front crawl. Then 500m of the first pull buoy drill.

It was a really good swim set with a nice mixture of sprints and drills!

My threshold run looked like this:

I much prefer doing speed work/threshold runs on a treadmill. I haven’t been to a running track before and I find being able to set the speeds on a treadmill really helps, otherwise I’m not sure how would ensure I would hit the right pace. I guess this is a skill to be learnt and so I’m sure I should give it a go at some point! But for now… speed work = treadmills.

So my threshold run involved a 3 min warm-up at a gentle pace (around 10kph). I then did four sets of 5 minutes at 12kph – that speed would give me a 50m 10k which would be a great aim for the end of this year/beginning of the next. I had 90 sec rests in between each set, about a minute standing on the side of the treadmill panting and 30 secs slow jogging getting ready to set off again.

I sweated absolute buckets but I loved it!

Then as I said in yesterday’s post, Saturday was a fantastic day of exercise involving the most incredible run and a really fun cycle. The only issue is that it was still 10k shorter than my triathlon cycle distance, and despite feeling like I was pushing myself, I was much slower than I want to be…. I’m hoping the average speed was slow as we did stop a few times to check the route and share out water, plus there was a really long steep hill which I took VERY slowly….excuses excuses I know!

trail run

Saturday night my dad had a big party with a marquee and we all drank far too much – Sunday was therefore rest day / alcohol recovery day! Still slightly in recovery today and didn’t manage to get up for my morning spin class which I am annoyed at myself for but oh well!




  1. That swim set looks really good! I bought a pull buoy and float last week so I’m ready to go with some proper swim training… I also need to get on a bike.. Think I’m a little behind on the training front!

    • Haha you’ve got lots of time! I’m planning on a few laps of Richmond Park Sunday morning on my bike as I always find that pretty good training. I’ll be posting more swim sets as well (picked up from various training websites / coaches) as I think working out what to do in the pool is something that people often really struggle with! The pull buoy is a great piece of equipment though.

  2. I used the pull buoy and kicker board the otherday- oh my god how hard is the kicker board?! I felt like my legs were on fire and was going SO slowly! More swim sets would be great, thanks!

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